Layar
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Blog: interactive print

Breaking Down the Refreshed LAYARED Magazine

Chris Cameron October 25, 2012

If you scan the pages of our LAYARED Magazine today, you’ll see fresh new content on every page!

This summer when we introduced the magazine - our tentpole example of how publishers can add interactivity to the static pages of print content - we packed the pages with awesome digital extras made using the Layar Creator. Now, after several big Creator campaigns have hit the magazine stands, we’ve been able to piece together just what makes for a successful interactive print campaign.

Taking these insights, as well as those we shared recently in our Best Practices Guide, we’ve completely refreshed the interactive print found in LAYARED to showcase how powerful and impactful this medium can be. Here’s an overview of what we changed, and why, and how you can use these concepts to create more effective campaigns.

Attracting & Educating with the Cover

We actually didn’t change the cover - it’s still the same great introduction video from Raimo van der Klein - but we wanted to reiterate what makes for an outstanding interactive print cover. We framed and designed Raimo’s video in such a way that when viewed over the magazine, it appears as though the pages come to life. This really helps a reader begin to grasp the overall concept of interactive print.

The other important thing to note about the cover video is that it serves a practical purpose for those who watch it. In our video, Raimo explains what the LAYARED Magazine is and how to use your phone to scan the pages and interact with the content. In your publication, a cover video could help to introduce your magazine as a special issue with interactive print, as well as show them how to use it.

And we’re not the only ones adding videos to our cover! Be sure to check out the VIVA Magazine 40th Anniversary issue which has a similar “come to life” style cover video!

Pro tip! — The cover of your publication is the first thing your readers see, and thus is a great place to make an important first impression. Grab their attention and help them understand what to expect. If a video isn’t your thing, think top level - include links to your homepage or maybe a place where readers can subscribe.

Providing Clear Instructions

The next most important aspect of any interactive print campaign is the instructions. Readers need a clear explanation of how to use Layar with the publication, which is why we dedicated a two page spread to this very concept on pages 4 and 5 of LAYARED. You probably don’t need to use so much space (many use just one page) but we wanted to clearly emphasize this.

The instructions in LAYARED are very clear and easy to follow. Importantly, the instructions include both illustrations and text to guide users through how to view interactive print. If you scan our instructions, we provide a quick link to info about the all new Layar 7.0, as well as an embedded video that appears to pop out of the printed page.

Pro tip! — In your publication, also make sure the instructional illustrations don’t look too much like an advertisement or editorial content as readers may otherwise miss them.

Read more »

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/432

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VIVA Magazine Goes Interactive to Celebrate 40th Anniversary

Chris Cameron October 23, 2012

Dutch women’s magazine VIVA is celebrating 40 years of publication by adding interactivity to its pages with Layar.

In the latest issue, readers can view exclusive videos, shop directly for items advertised in the magazine and much more! We talked with VIVA Product Manager Anouk Vos to get the inside story on how they planned the issue, what their experience was like with the Layar Creator and what to expect in the future from VIVA.

How did VIVA plan for incorporating interactive print? What was the process like?

When you start a production, the editorial staff sits together. In the staff meeting, we decide the complete layout of the magazine, then we think of what gets “Layared,” and then we decide which buttons to use, which should be created, etc. With the help of our art director we browsed the pages and thought of a pink layout that would be visible on all sorts of backgrounds. Most of the options we used were pretty basic: download page, download app, listen, etc. For the animated cover, as this was more delicate, we used a couple of test versions. We wanted to make that sure it worked.

 

What inspired you to use Layar? How did you hear of it?

Actually, I was looking for a new way to present myself in presentations, so I took a VIVA cover and said “Just scan the image to get my contact details, download link to the presentation, etc.” The ad-interim editor in chief of VIVA, Jossine Modderman, immediately got enthusiastic, so we created a demo page for the real VIVA. Jossine in her editorial told her readers that she was proud of her curves. A couple of readers reacted that in her editorial image she looked so thin, so which curves was she talking about? As a reaction, we created an editorial where we said “If you’re curious, scan the image with Layar, and you can see the unphotoshopped, just pure Jossine editorial image.”

We received a couple of nice reactions, and at that point we decided we wanted to be more informed about Layar and its possibilities, and bring our magazine to life. Also LINDA. Magazine has some really cool examples (e.g. the poll option), so why not take part in the Layar revolution?

 

How was the experience of using the Creator?

The Layar Creator is quite a basic tool - it is so easy to use. But still, the most important process with the Creator is the testing. By testing you will experience hiccups and you learn more about the Creator. For example, I used a rather large image, so some phones couldn’t load it. This is of course very logical when you think about it, but when first working with the tool, you will just upload the image and start your Layar quest.

How do you plan to use Layar in the future?

The animated cover for our jubilee edition was absolutely great. And of course the voice-over columns too. Those pages surely gave an extra dimension to the print edition, so our intention is to do that more often. But another way that’s something that has our primal focus to use layar is fashion and living items. We can make them sharable (Pin the items) and buyable (readers are one click away). And of course, we can think of cool way to integrate advertisers so that for our readers, those pages become more interesting as well.

Layar gives you the option to bring more depth to the print issue. It brings print to life and allows our readers to get instant information on products.

 

Any other thoughts you want to add?

Our first experience is that the pages that really are about the magazine - the cover and the spoken columns - are the most successful. Now we are in the process of evaluating, so we will have a deeper look at every page: what was easy to use, was it clear that the page was scannable, etc. And also important, were the Layar buttons clear?

But we must say, our Layar experience was and still is great. When we show the animated cover to colleagues and clients, they all are absolutely thrilled to see it. With almost 7,000 pageviews, our first Layar encounter can be called a success!

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/431

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Philips myshop Magazine Helps Readers Buy from Print

Chris Cameron October 3, 2012

Creative agency Imagemakers, responsible for the design and creation of the Philips myshop magazine, has expertly integrated Layar into the latest issue to provide readers with direct purchase links.

Philips, the global electronics giant headquartered in Holland, publishes myshop magazine - a discount catalogue for those eligible for employee discounts. This latest issue, complete with Interactive Print pages made with the Layar Creator, was recently delivered to over 70,000 recipients.

“The idea to make the magazine more interactive came during a brainstorm session on how to optimize the Philips myshop magazine for online sales,” says Imagemakers project manager Rik Staals.

Readers can scan the pages of the magazine with Layar to see videos of the products, receive more product information and tap direct buy links to the Philips webshop to purchase the products. You can see an example in the images further down in this post, or browse the magazine online on Imagemakers’ website.

“Imagemakers came up with the idea to implement augmented reality into the magazine to combine online and offline sales,” adds Staals. “With the integration of augmented reality, we guide people from the offline magazine to the online webshop.”

The strongest part of the magazine, however, is the full-page introduction and explanation of Layar and augmented reality located on the very first spread of the magazine (as seen below). Click the image to see the larger version.

This page is a great way to ease readers into Interactive Print. Imagemakers clearly spells out how the magazine has been enhanced with Layar Creator and instructs readers on how to use it properly. Step-by-step instructions and familiar imagery, such as the Layar logo and the various app store icons, really create a better experience that readers are more likely to use.

The Philips myshop magazine is a great example of how using clear instructions can help readers experience Interactive Print. Check out some more examples from Philips myshop magazine below. Click the images to view larger versions and scan them with Layar to experience the augments.

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/428

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Labelmag Shows Power of Customized Interactive Print

Chris Cameron October 1, 2012

Dutch customer media company Label, which makes several journals and magazines, has recently used Layar in its own publication, Labelmag, to illustrate the power of Interactive Print. Label, as self-proclaimed “magazine makers,” focuses on consumer oriented media, and decided to feature Layar in its biannual journal.

Label’s integration of Layar into its publication stands out for its stylishly designed custom buttons and unique features, providing a great experience for readers. In the example below, readers can vote on which cover design they like better. The transparent frames around the images really help them stand out against the page of the magazine.

“Labelmag is a magazine about making magazines for marketers and communication pros,” says Label’s Lonneke Kranendonk. “The goal was to let our readers know that Layar exists, show them some possibilities for how to apply it to magazines and let them know that it’s a tool they can use.”

Readers can see a behind-the-scenes video of the photo shoot for the magazines unique cover. Spoiler alert if you were hoping they found real-life android with cables spewing from his mouth!

She says the inspiration came from hearing Layar co-founder Claire Boonstra speak at a conference in April about Layar and Interactive Print.

“The production went well. The Layar Creator is easy to use and easy to get into,” says Kranendonk. “The guidelines and tips on how to communicate Layar to readers on the Layar site really helped.”

Label also linked readers to Pinterest pages where they could view and share the original artwork found throughout the magazine. One of their more popular enhancements, however, was an “easter egg” style drawing of the well-known children’s book series character Barbapapa added to one of portraits.

Labelmag serves as a great example of how a custom feel with some unique functions can make the Interactive Print experience even more engaging. Giving readers special access to behind-the-scenes video, original magazine artwork and other content in a way that is both stylish and well implemented makes the overall experience a positive one for readers.

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/427

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Interactive Print is Hot!

Chris Cameron September 27, 2012

The following is an update from Layar CEO Quintin Schevernels.

My first 100 days as CEO of Layar have been very exciting!

When I started we launched our online self service tool for the print industry; the Layar Creator. This gives the opportunity to companies from all over the world to make their print products interactive within 1 minute. Now they can add the power of the internet and mobile directly to their print products. They now can give the opportunity to their users to watch or read additional content, buy products, share articles and more - all on top of their print products, giving print a new dimension. 

In less than 100 days over 15,000 Creator accounts have been created, including companies from over 100 different countries, ranging from Japan to Argentina and from Sweden to South Africa. These companies are making their newspapers, in-store promotions, magazines, business cards, packaging or annual reports interactive with the Layar Creator.

Also we launched version 7.0 of the Layar App. This version is a big improvement. We made the app as easy and simple as possible and made Interactive Print the central focus. Based on initial feedback, the 7.0 launch has been a big success. We welcomed our 25th million download on the 17th of September, reaching a major milestone. And this number is growing every day with over 35.000 new downloads from all over the world. 24/7!

Big numbers. In a market that is emerging. This is just the beginning.

Over the last 100 days, I spent a lot of time with people involved with Layar. The founders, the management team, the Layar crew and of course our launching customers (just to name a few). We also did a lot of research. Research on the market, our users and our own statistics. Based on this it became clear that interest in Interactive Print is high. Therefore, Layar is ready to accelerate with Interactive Print.

Over the coming months we will focus on building best practices. We want to help customers in the print industry translate the possibilities of Interactive Print to their business objectives. We want to create a steep learning curve. This will create valuable insights that will help create the best possible products and the market to mature.

In order to take this next step, we will make a few changes:

  • We will focus our product development on Interactive Print. Over the past years we have been exploring AR. This has been a very valuable journey. A journey that gave us a lot of insights and brought us to the strong position where we are today. However we are still a small company. We see a lot of opportunities in Interactive Print and we want to focus on these. One of the consequences is that we will stop the further development of Stiktu. Also we will strengthen our development team in Amsterdam and will be recruiting for developers.
  • We want to lead innovation in Interactive Print. We believe that now is the time to add interactivity to print. With over 25 million downloads of the Layar App and the early adoption of the Layar Creator, we are in a very strong position for this. However, the possibilities of Interactive Print are for a lot of companies still a big unknown. Therefore we will do additional investments in marketing, business development and customer service to create awareness for Interactive Print and help customers get started. Amongst others, we recently decided to open an office in NYC (headed by Maarten) and we are recruiting for a V.P. of Marketing. Over the next months we will also be reinforcing our partner network.
  • Last but not least, a maturing market and a changing strategy mean changing roles. Two of our founders and shareholders, Raimo and Claire, will soon have new roles. Together with co-founder Maarten, they brought Layar to where it is today and deserve tremendous respect for this. Now that they have brought the management in for the next phase, both Raimo and Claire feel comfortable to change their involvement. This means that from the 1st of January next year both Claire and Raimo will no longer be involved with Layar on a day-to-day basis. Raimo will of course continue to be a member of our Supervisory Board and keep on acting as sparring partner for our product strategy. Claire will stay involved as advisor to continue to represent our company around the world and show all the opportunities that AR and Layar have to offer.

My first 100 days at Layar have been very exciting. I have the strong feeling there is much more exciting times to come. We will keep you up to date!

Permalink: www.layar.com/news/blog/426

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