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What We’re Subscribed To: Publications That Inspire Us

best subscriptions

You know D Custom as a group of die-hard marketers, but we come from a long line of journalists and publishers. We originated as the custom-publishing division of D Magazine, so magazines, journals, and publications run in our blood.

Our team has a deep love of and sharp eye for great content, especially publications. That’s because we know a thing or two about their value and what makes them great. All that pub-love at work makes us a bit subscription-happy in our spare time — meaning if it’s a great publication, we’re happy to subscribe.

Here is our team’s “best subscriptions” list and how these publications inspire each of us personally.

Related: Not sure what topic to cover next in your content marketing strategy? Here’s how to overcome that block.

Our Best Subscriptions

Kylie Valigura — Art Director

Publication of choice: Darling Magazine

Why I subscribe: When designing publications, I draw ideas from all types of magazines. One of my favorites is Darling magazine, which I first discovered while on a Barnes & Noble magazine hunt a few years ago. At first, I was drawn to the beautiful matte paper, but I quickly discovered that the content inside was equally beautiful. Their mission is to challenge the cultural ideals of beauty and question their exaggerated importance in other forms of media. That’s why you won’t find any Photoshopped women’s bodies or faces in any of their issues. The aesthetic and brand of Darling helps me stay inspired with new layout ideas, photography and typography treatments in my work, and thoughtful content that inspires me to live a life full of art.

Cory Davies — Director of Client Services

Publication of choice: Seth Godin’s blog

Why I subscribe: Asking someone in marketing why they follow Seth Godin’s blog is like asking a football fan here in Dallas why they cheer for the Cowboys. He’s America’s marketer. And he knows how to do content better than just about anyone out there. It’s one of the best subscriptions a content marketer can read — there’s a lot to be learned.

Annie Wiles — Senior Editor

Publication of choice: Bon Appétit

Why I subscribe: We all read to transport ourselves — and no magazine does teleportation better than Bon Appétit. Their most recent cover story was actually called “Recipes to Transport You,” which is exactly what I need right now: to be transported to literally anywhere that isn’t my living room/workspace/kitchen/dining room (my house is basically one room). Does anything sound (or look) better than piñones in Puerto Rico right now, or a fish shack on Martha’s Vineyard, or snow cones in New Orleans? Remember going places? And doing things? And eating food that you didn’t make? I don’t. But then I open Bon Appétit and it all comes flooding back. The pages crackle with energy. Every issue is crazy beautiful and deliciously written. (Never any extra words! Fun annotations! Egg puns! It’s just too good.) There’s a lot to learn from Bon Appétit even if your publication isn’t about food (unfortunately, none of ours are — yet). I aspire to a lot of benchmarks they set. Most importantly, it never fails to make me happy. That’s my ultimate goal with any publication or piece of content I create: to transport, commune, and maybe even make someone smile.

Jessica Turner — Design Intern

Publication of choice: Vogue Magazine

Why I subscribe: Vogue is essentially a fashion textbook. You can follow its stories and fashion coverage for decades! Well established in both print and digital, Vogue has developed a publication style that’s chic and iconic. When I need motivation, I flip through its pages. As an aspiring photographer, I look to Vogue as a great source of work I admire, seeing various poses I’d like to try in my own shoots, as well as just fantastic inspiration over all.

Patrick Reardon — Managing Editor

Publication of choice: The Morning Brew

Why I subscribe: As a rule of thumb, I don’t read daily news. It’s not easy finding news content that isn’t inflated with personal opinions, conflated with politics, or deflated by sloppy writing. But keeping up with global goings-on is important. Without the news, we’d never learn about momentous occasions like Elon Musk christening his son X Æ A-12. For anyone who shares my sentiments, check out the Morning Brew. Their daily updates cover important stories across several subjects, but concisely, jargon-free, and with a refreshingly irreverent delivery. Just like that, I get relevant world updates without needing to roll my eyes or make a major time investment. And since it arrives in my inbox before 7 a.m., it helps me seem savvy and intellectual in time for my first human interaction of the day.

We create a number of digital and print publications for our clients. Contact us to see what we can do to get yours on someone’s “best subscriptions” list.