I stole this title from the September Editorial Design issue at http://idnworld.com/. Have a look.
For the last couple of years I've spent a lot of time looking at screens, display technologies, platforms, templates and the workflow challenges associated with moving advertising and editorial content to all these zip codes.
Undoubtedly, amidst all this disruption, while some editors and designers have felt threatened, many more at Time Inc, Conde Nast, Bonnier and elsewhere have publicly acknowledged a sense of liberation. After all, they get to "re-imagine" their magazine for the tablet.
Nicolas Bourquin, one of the designers featured at the above link frames the issue nicely: "It's a hard time for magazines, but a fabulous period for editorial design." The site showcases some truly glorious print magazines that continue to break the design molds. But what about the rest of the population that has to figure out how generate print and digital designs or templates that are economical, serve multiple platforms, are intuitive, and feature world-class designs. And they can't put the consumer to sleep or send an advertiser packing.
This is not a new conversation but has intensified given the interest in the iPad and the realization that few publishers, from a workflow, design, and organizational perspective were ready for the tablet. Looked at another way one might ask: Is is time to adopt the web technique of standard templates and layout rules for print and all platforms.
Before designers in the crowd cringe I should add that this suggestion is coming from noted designer Roger Black, President of Ready-Media and his team who say, in chorus: "Never before has world-class design been so available, so accessible, so affordable. A cabal of highly skilled designers have pooled their talents to give you outstanding media templates for both print and web-based formats. featuring a huge variety of pages."
Have a look at http://www.ready-media.com/. I think there is a design solution here for all magazine publishers. Perhaps the independents will find immediate usefulness. They usually move first.