Some time ago I was sent a review copy of the inaugural issue (November/December 2008) of Bible Study Magazine, a print magazine published by Logos Bible Software (ISSN 1945-0923). Here, finally, is my review.
First, let’s focus on the physical aspects. This is not a very thick magazine, consisting as it does of 49 pages excluding the cover. But the paper stock is of a higher quality than most print magazines, a matte stock which is as pleasing to the eye as it is to the hand. The cover is a bit thicker stock, but also matte. This lends a very nice, modern, higher quality aesthetic to the magazine. It also feels a bit heavier in the hand than it looks it should, which is not a bad thing. The printing is full-color throughout, stem to stern, with a good ink that doesn’t smear easily, thankfully. All this is for the low price (or at least two out of three of the prices are low) noted on the cover: US$ 4.95, CAN$ 5.95, and UK₤ 4.95. However, an annual subscription is a mere US$ 14.95, which is a steal, compared to the cover price.
Now to the content. The Letter from the editor and masthead information appear on page three, with the Statement of Faith being, surprising and refreshingly, the Apostles’ Creed, rather than some cobbled-together denominational foofaraw. By my count, only about 16 pages are ads out of 51 (including the back cover as a page, but excluding the front cover), which not bad at all for any magazine. Hopefully that ratio will remain throughout its run. One of the interesting things about the layout of this magazine, to which most of the ads seem also to have been conformed, is the presence of plenty of white space. This causes some more graphic/text-intense (read “traditional”) ads to look cluttered in comparison, and thus comparatively ugly, an unfortunate incident for the advertisers, who should most certainly design and provide some different ads in future, or at the very least permit the staff of the magazine the license to create ads for these sponsors in such a way that they blend better with the general aesthetic of the magazine. Some particular ads I find particularly jarring in this respect are, for example, those of pages 30, 37, and 48. An interesting feature throughout the magazine is the strong connection to the online world. URLs appear throughout, intended to lead readers to more information on various publications (often appearing in Logos Digital Library format), people, or subjects.