«I want to take a position». An interview with Klat’s editor in chief


When it was born, in 2009, Klat was a small editorial case: a paper magazine, created by an independent publisher who openlu refused all commercial mantras (no concessions to advertisers) and who proudly went against the tide in terms of contents (Klat only published very lengthy interviews, and a few photos), looks (it was printed on very high quality paper, in a rather large format) and price (9€, hence quite high).
A book, more than a magazine, really, that in the mind of its creator should have existed to support itself mainly through sales. Today, sadly, Klat no longer exists in the paper version. But the spirit that originated it is still alive. It was, as a matter of fact, the great success of its webbased version to convince its editor and publisher Paolo Priolo andnhis wife (only fixed member of the editorial office), Emanuela Carelli, to dedicate all their time and efforts to the online version of the magazine. nella versione cartacea non esiste più, purtroppo. Ma non è morto con lei lo spirito che l’ha originata.

You have just revamped the Klat site. What has changed?
We moved from a mosaic style home page to a more spreadout, dymanic and immediate timeline. We basicallu distributed contents in a more clear and functional manner in order to incase usability. Two years ago, the Klat site was merely a window for the printed magazine, then it evolved into a platform hald way between a network of blogs and the paper version of the pubkication. Now it is a place in which projects in the large meaning of the word are analysed under several different perspectives. It’s a space that will get bigger in the coming months, in which we will propoe new investigative spaces and cross fertilizations. Our purpose is to build a necessary information and analysia network for all those who like to live design as a multi-disciplinary, borderless experience. Furniture, architecture, photography, contemporary art, graphics, fashion, technology, creativity…

Can you give us an idea of the site numbers?
The online magazine records on average 110.000 unique users per month for a total of 600.000 pageviews (source: google analytics). It is an extraordinary result for a niche title: it positions Klat near the best Italian and international web experiences. Our objective is to grow a further 50% in terms of traffic in the coming year.

When and why was Klat creates in the paper version and what was ita guiding concept?
Klat was born in 2009 from the passion and willingness of my wife and I. We wanted to create a three monthly consisting only of indepth insights into the minds of creators hence the idea of featuring long interviews with the great of art, design and architecture. We wanted to create a repertoire of collectable texts on the topic of creativity to propose on the market in a bilingual magazine, extremely well conceived both in terms of contents and graphics. We did it. We entered the publishinb game by ourselves. It was a winning experience under many points of view. The five issues of Klat sold on average 70% of all available copies (it was distributed in 15 countries and it was printed in 10.000 copies). It is a record percentage and we were happy with it but the trend was towards a contraption of the market, as it is happening to all printed publications: there is a reduction of distribution challels and sales points, decreasing advertising presence. So we decided to stop the paper version and to focus on the online presence.

What is, in your opinion, the future of paper publications?
We stopped with the magazine a few months ago because we are firmly convinced that there will be no space for growth for printed products in the coming years. I believe that information and also indepth analysis are doomed to disappear or in any case to shrink in a big way within a few years. Nessuno.

Will there be a pay version of Klat online that will replace the paper version?
No, I do not believe in online pay press. There will not be a three monthly version of Klat in a digital format to download and read on your computer. I strongly believe, on the contrary, in the potential of apps for smartphones or tablets, both free and fee based, hence in the very likely that Klat will grow in this direction, possibly through a subscription. As well as a free web site, of course.

How could an e-zine be born from such a dense magazine as Klat?
Each communication channel has its own characteristics in terms of readership, timing and ways in which they are used, and of course contents. The 15/20 pages interviews a perfect for a periodicla that is published every three months and sold for 9€. A daily updated e-zine must necessarily focus on shortee contents: but these should be just as challenging. I think, for instancr, of our feture Necessary/Unnecessary that represents a new, brave way to select, advise or steer away from ideas, experiences and products. Today, most publication only mention what they think (or are forced to think) that is worth it and they ignore all the rest: as a consequence, magazines have given up the opportunity to take a position, to criticize useless things and weak ideas. We do it, and we are free, and this is particularly appreciated by the Klat readers. And I would like to use this opportunity to inform all the people who were mad about out long interviews that they will come back, soon…they will have a prime role also on the site.

So how do you make money?
Advertising is obviously fundamental for ad editorial project such as Klat that exists only on the web. We are at present on the look out for an advertising company to back us up. After the summer, we will start. But we will never give up on our editorial approach. That’s the basis of our success.


About Laura Traldi

I am a journalist at D la Repubblica. I also have a blog about #design that sometimes makes people talk. Visit www.designatlarge.it
This entry was posted in Blog, Graphic design, Interviews and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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