SoulKind – new, independent magazine celebrates resilience

First issue of new mag printed on a Jet Press 750S

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The cover of the first issue of the new niche magazine SoulKInd Photo Fujifilm
The cover of the first issue of the new niche magazine SoulKInd Photo Fujifilm

“I want to look into your soul,” said photographer Chris Boulton as he stared down the camera lens at his subject, 70-year-old adventurer David Lemon. The photo, part of a shoot for the new independent magazine, SoulKind, was ultimately to grace the cover, and Boulton’s instinctive phrase, in the moment, was to spark the idea for the magazine’s title. 

Produced with support from Fujifilm, and printed on the Jet Press 750S, SoulKind is the brainchild of Chris Boulton, an experienced Cheltenham-based photographer and Jamie Rudd, a creative director, and brand consultant. “We wanted to do something purely for the love of it,” says Jamie. “Something not diluted by committee or by commercial concerns. Chris and I have only known each other for a few years, but we have a lot in common, and we’d both long-loved the idea of creating a high-quality magazine to express some of our ideas and creativity. Our challenge had been trying to find our niche – a focus to theme the magazine around.

In the end, it was a tragedy that gave the pair that focus they’d been searching for. “In July 2018, I was involved in a life-changing car accident,” says Jamie. “It almost cost me my life, and as I started out on the long, hard road to recovery, it crystallized in my mind what I wanted our project to be about – tales of human endeavor and exploration, but closer to my heart – resilience. Finding out how endeavors, no matter how big or small, can make us feel alive again. How exploration can enable us to experience everything our wonderful planet has to offer, and how, with the right mindset, we can be resilient and overcome trauma to thrive again.”

So Jamie and Chris began approaching, photographing, and interviewing inspirational people from different walks of life, from adventurers and explorers to endurance athletes. Why, and how, do they do what they do? What drives them? What inspires them?

In the magazine’s first issue, eleven interviewees open up and talk about what they’ve achieved, and the mindset that took them there. Individuals who have tested their own mental and physical limits, not just once, but over and over again.

David Lemon walked the Zambezi, alone, from source to sea, aged over 60. Lucy Shepard, not yet 30, has completed countless polar expeditions and extreme alpine treks. Endurance athlete Sean Conway ran, swam and cycled around the entire coast of mainland Britain and set a new world record time cycling across Europe from Portugal to Russia. Eleven names. Eleven lives. Hundreds of extraordinary adventures. 

And why a magazine? 

“News is cheaper, more up-to-date, and more accessible online,” says Chris. “So print needs to be about much more than mere information. Print is for those important stories you want people to reflect on. The photographs and the words are equally important elements, and quality print brings them together in a tangible way and makes reading an immersive experience that can’t be replicated on a screen. I used to run a print business myself, and I’ve followed developments in digital print technology in recent years with great interest. It is these advancements that make a magazine like ours – which is produced in relatively short runs at exceptionally high quality – possible. Fujifilm’s Jet Press 750S is one of the best examples out there of a new kind of press that can deliver ultra-high-quality print in run lengths ideal for our magazine – and we’re delighted that Fujifilm shares our vision and is supporting us in getting this first issue published.”

Graham Leeson, head of Communications and Sales Enablement, Fujifilm Graphic Systems EMEA, explains why Fujifilm is supporting the project, “As humans, we need to be inspired – we thrive on stories of courage, perseverance and overcoming impossible odds. In late 2019, when we agreed to help support SoulKind launch its first issue, we couldn’t have known what a different place the world would be now. But the current situation means we need stories like this more than ever. Ten years ago, this magazine could not have been made. You could have printed something ultra-high quality in large volumes, or compromised the quality to print shorter runs more flexibly in response to demand, but you could not have both. Digital print technology, and more specifically the Jet Press 750S, has made this kind of high-quality, short-run creative content possible, and Fujifilm is proud to have been at the forefront of that seismic technological shift.” 

SoulKind is printed on the Fujifilm Jet Press 750S at Emmerson Press in Kenilworth, Warwickshire. Issue one is available now. To learn more, or to order a copy, visit www.SoulKindPeople.co.uk . To watch a video about the project, click here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1wXwHdxKD0 .  

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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