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149: Micro Trends in Magazine Publishing with Nicola Hamilton of Issues

Updated: Dec 13, 2023



It’s that time of year again: magazines, magazines, magazines! I’m thrilled to bring you 6 new episodes recorded over two semesters with the best in the biz! Local visionaries and global leaders share their insights about micro and macro trends in magazines, tips for publishing digitally and in print, as well as creating magazines that push the boundaries of production and content.



This first episode features Nicola Hamilton, Toronto-based magazine Art Director and independent magazine shop owner. In this episode you’ll hear how she got into the magazine industry and why she started a magazine shop. Nicola demystifies how she decides which magazines to stock and she shares trends in magazine publishing and production.

Nicola describes her process as an Art Director, including how she collaborates in making magazines among many stakeholders. Nicola also shares her advice for sourcing inexpensive (even free!) visuals for magazine projects. Finally, she describes the importance of setting the technical foundation of a periodical publication, as well as what ‘pacing’ means and how to design with pacing in mind.


And here’s the great news for all magazine makers: Nicola believes that the future belongs to niche publications (that YOU could create!).


This episode is part of a guest lecture series in GCM 720 Magazine Production & Publishing in The Creative School at TMU and co-hosted by student, Enza Borson.

Let’s listen in…











About Our Guest:

Nicola Hamilton (she/her) is an independent creative based in Toronto, Canada. She began her career at the beloved, city-weekly The Grid (2011-2014). She’s spent time asChatelaine’s Deputy Art Director (2015-2017) where she helped lead the team through a redesign of both their print and digital properties and asStudio Wyse's Art Director (2017-2020) where she helped redesign, reposition and produce publications for clients such as Xtra,The University of Toronto Magazine, andRyerson University Magazine. Today, Nicola is the Art Director at bothBest Health and Precedent, a part-time design educator, President ofThe Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD) and she maintains an artistic practice viaThe Scaries, exploring the emotional realities of being creative. In July 2022, Nicola openedIssues Magazine Shop, a retailer of independent magazines from around the world.




Music: Where the Sun Set by Ketsa Licensed by Independent Music Licensing Collective (IMLC).

Talk Paper Scissors Theme Music: Retro Quirky Upbeat Funk by Lewis Sound Production via Audio Jungle


Episode Artwork: Canva


Boat Origami Photo: Boat Origami Photo by Alex on Unsplash

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