Hot Rum Cow among Esquire's 80 things that define our time

US Esquire has featured our very own Hot Rum Cow in a list of the 80 things that define us today - and they know a thing or two about magazines.

Esquire is celebrating going strong for four score years and more in the US. Its first issue featured the writing of Ernest Hemingway and this month’s celebratory 80th anniversary edition includes a photo shoot of 80 extraordinary men that took almost a year to pull together. It also features a list of the 80 things, men, women, technology, books, food, booze, jokes, hunches, notions and bold ideas that define our time (featuring Hot Rum Cow).

Our copy arrived in the post this week and we’re delighted to be keeping such high calibre company. Hot Rum Cow gets a plug in the Esquire 80 as a great example of what can still be achieved with paper. Paper – more specifically, lovingly crafted independent magazines and books – comes in at number four on the list, snugly squeezed between Best-Dressed Man in America, basketball player, Dwyane Wade and Rookie of the Year, Kim Jong-Un.

Tyler Cabot describes Hot Rum Cow as a magazine “with the character and physicality of a classic bar”. He also praises the beauty of Swallow Magazine and the transportive quality of We Are Here magazine. “When a book or magazine becomes an object you can keep and display and pass on, it becomes something different altogether – a luxury item. Digital media won’t die. And neither will our instinct to hold and own beautiful things,” he concludes.

“Hear, hear,” we say. Long live paper and here’s to 80 more years of Esquire (and, if it’s not too much to ask, Hot Rum Cow).

Click here to read the original article.

The White Light Magazine Shop

We love magazines so much we’ve only gone and opened our own mini magazine store. Roll up, roll up for eight top quality, hard-to-get publications that are so good we think the whole world should know about them.

Something odd is afoot in the world of magazines. While sales of many mainstream titles tumble, there’s been a global renaissance in intelligently written, beautifully designed magazines created by a new generation of ‘craft publishers’.

Many of these publications are wonderfully creative – we all have our favourites in the office – and some are also forging ingenious revenue sources. This development is catching the eye of marketers, who have picked up on the influential ‘slow journalism’ movement spearheaded by Delayed Gratification magazine, and the commercial success of independent brands such as Monocle and Vice.

To play our part in this exciting resurgence of creative print, members of the team here have chosen eight magazines that they feel are particularly outstanding. You can now buy these magazines either by visiting our rather lovely studio in person, or online at

The Whisky Issue – Out Now

After months of hard graft the third issue of our drinks magazine Hot Rum Cow hit the shops this week. Taking delivery of the magazines is always a high point for everyone in the studio and we’ve been working excitedly to distribute and publicise the issue with the heady smell of ink in the air.

Issue 3 is all about whisky and we’ve been all over Scotland, England and even to Sweden to meet some of the most exciting producers working today. We’ve not just got spirit though – we’re also covering picnic wine, flaming cocktails, obscure liqueurs and barrel-aged beer.

You can read more about the issue and see some of the beautifully designed and illustrated spreads online. Most of the copy is written by White Light Media editors, all of the design work is our own and even some of the illustrations are done in-house. Drop us a line if you think your business could benefit from quality design and writing like in Hot Rum Cow.

Order your copy now or subscribe in our shop.

10 Soundbites from the International Content Summit

A veritable smorgasbord of food for thought was up for discussion at yesterday's rather tasty International Content Summit in London. Here are 10 things we enjoyed hearing.

1. "We have entered the post-advertising age," said Jon King of Story, exploring the profound human desire for storytelling. "If you want to know the future, paint a bison." Inspirational stuff.

2. There are five trends in content marketing, said Melanie Howard of the Future Foundation.
– Magic Nostalgic (think Gentlewoman's Journal and old-style sweetie shops)
– The End Of Adventure (life is so predictable... risk is attractive)
– Gamification (set challenges and give rewards)
– Native Marketing (create brand advocates)
– Murdered By Modernity (the human craving for oases of sanctuary).

3. Four rules for branded content by Matthew Guest of Deloitte Digital:
– Make it useful
– Make it fun
– Market it hard
– Get lucky - play the portfolio game

4. "Stupid people think complicated things are clever," said Dave Trott of CSTTG, in a no-nonsense analysis of why 89% of advertising is ignored. His brand of creativity involves predatory thinking - "get upstream and change the problem".

5. "People want authenticity," said Melanie Stubbing of Weight Watchers Europe. "They want to hear other people's stories."

6. C = 4m +3v +2 (i-f) -2a. Catherine Toole of Sticky Content can explain all.

7. "If you're stuck when it comes to storytelling just think 'what would Jesus have done'?" said Nick Morris of Canvas8, referencing The Bible as a model of telling a good tale well.

8. Work with someone long enough, earn their trust, and they will allow you to pour caramel over their head in a way that benefits everyone involved. So explained Lisa Smosarski on her outstanding Nigella Lawson Shortlist issue. "Big budgets breed lazy ideas," she added.

9. Marcus Webb of the delightfully named Slow Journalism Company spoke of the niche he has filled with Delayed Gratification magazine. "We created something that some people will love but not everyone will get, he said. "But, to quote David Simon, creator of The Wire: 'Fuck the average viewer'."

10. Stephanie McGovern, BBC Breakfast: I was putting together a report at Grimsby Harbour when I was mistaken for a prostitute. He offered me four cans of Stella and a fiver. Andrew Hirsch, John Brown: Would you reconsider the proposition if I offered six cans of John Smith's and a tenner?

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Dive in to Strathclyde People

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Seven years after going to the University of Strathclyde with a proposal for a genuinely effective biannual alumni marketing magazine, we have just published the 14th issue of Strathclyde People – which earlier this year was voted Digital Magazine of the Year at the IoIC Scotland Awards, and shortlisted in the Scottish Magazine Awards. We now produce a print version and a Flash-based digital version of the magazine that together reach more than 100,000 alumni all over the world. The team at White Light Media writes and designs all the content, and builds the digital version. The latest issue features an interview with Olympic swimmer and Strathclyde student Robbie Renwick.