REVIEW: Bright Screenzine (a one-off native app that really pushed the limits)

Bright is Holland’s leading multimedia brand for technology, design and style. They aim at people who have a ‘taste for technology’, an eye for design and a weakness for innovation. Their stories are available in the bi-monthly printed edition, on the daily updated website, through social feeds and even an app for smartphones. And, last but not least, Bright Screenzine, the app they specifically created some time ago for the iPad which contains subjects that have not appeared on their other channels.

Bright aimed high with its first iPad app, which should not surprise anyone who knows Bright’s editor-in-chief Erwin van der Zande was one of the driving forces behind the website screenzine.com. Screenzine was a research project where Luis Mendo and Erwin van der Zande forayed into the future of digital magazines. With the realisation of the first screenzine, the Bright Screenzine iPad app, their research journey has unfortunately come to an end – for the time being. But the research paid off and yielded a magnificent digital publication. Check out the video to get an idea on how beautiful it is.

Erwin and Luis also coined the phrase ‘screenzine’ to indicate where they wanted to go. Their goal was to create a digital magazine that is more than a pdf with page-turn effects. As they say themselves:

 “We wanted to equal the beauty of print on screen, transcend the fast pace of websites and fully use the multimedia capacities tablets have to offer. If 2010 was the year of the ‘pdf magazines’ on the iPad, 2011 will be the year for new formats such as screenzines.”

Bright Screenzine was developed by Twin Media based on a design from art directors Luis Mendo and Jonathan Looman. The first edition contains an interview with designer Piet Hein Eek, a short story by Walter van den Berg, a live infographic and Gay Hustwit’s beautiful full-length documentary ‘Objectified’. All in all, worth 229 minutes of entertaining and relevant content. And definitely worth checking out yourself!