We made 12 issues of Void Magazine in 2019, a year in which we told many stories, profiled dozens of Northeast Floridians, published hundreds of neat photos, and threw some fun parties. We also put out an all-local music compilation on vinyl (our second), filmed/recorded nearly two dozen Into the Void: Office Music Series videos (youtube.com/watchvoid), and asked artists to draw all over a blank cover of our publication. Oh, and we celebrated a milestone: 100 issues of Void Mag!
The proof is in the pages. Print’s not dead. And if our humble publication is to be taken as an example, print’s kinda like the J-Lo of the media landscape–as youthful and relevant as ever, still rockin’ that green Versace dress down the red carpet. (Admittedly, TJ Maxx is more our style, but you get the point!)
Here’s a random assortment of things we’ve resolved to do in 2020.
Try New Words
As a print publication that endeavors to tell stories through both pictures and words, we’re kind of language stans here at Void Mag. Every year, new words–long ago adopted into the popular lexicon–are finally anointed actual words by Webster’s Dictionary (stan, a common Twitter trope that blends the words “stalker” and “fan” was one such word). Other words that you’re likely familiar with that are now real words include “swole” (as in buff), “on-brand” (which is a very Millennial-focused marketing kinda reference), “receipts” (not a new word, but a new definition… don’t believe me, I’ll show you a screen grab from Webster’s website!), “Mofongo” (a Puerto Rican delicacy), and “double-dip” (which has finally been added to the dictionary a ghastly 26-years after the Seinfeld episode that discussed the revolting concept first aired).
We’ll be toying with this “new” language in 2o20. So don’t be surprised to see our vocabulary getting increasingly swole in the months to come.
Try NOT to Vibe
Sometimes a word becomes so popular that it’s added to the dictionary. Other times a word is so overused–attached to so many situations to describe so many different things–that it becomes ambiguous, completely meaningless, or downright annoying.
We as a culture, as 2019 made crystal clear, very much love the word “vibe.” A sketchy location where you feel unwelcome may have a “bad vibe.” A band that plays retro-sounding rock n’ roll, replete with synths and electronic drums has an “80s vibe” or a “Peter Gabriel vibe.” A mix of modern and rustic elements used throughout the interior of a new restaurant might give the joint a “cool vibe.”
On its own, vibe denotes a relaxed detachment, free from judgment. It likely rolled off the tongue of many a stoned surfer for decades before everyone and their mother adopted it. However, what irks me about “vibe” is that we tend to use it as a way to soften or work our way around a more precise description. Why not just describe that 80s-inspired rock band’s sound? Why not tell us what you liked about the interior of that restaurant? Explain what made feel sketched about that location. While vibe is, for now, useful in endearing you to the very chill audience you may be chatting with, it’s decidedly lazy.
Of course, we don’t want to be too negative when it comes to “vibe” (we wouldn’t want to put out too many bad vibes). We won’t say “no more vibes in 2020.” But we can promise to explain ourselves with more eloquence and describe things with more precision, while we curb our enthusiasm for the word “vibe” (that reference had a very 90s pop culture vibe).
More Art Vibes (whoops!)
Each year we try to pack as much art and culture into a dozen issues as we can. We’ve got an Arts and Music column that appears in print each month. Plus a whole Arts & Music issue and a Photo Annual that we roll out in the fall and winter, respectively. But we can always do more.
With a new and spacious headquarters and a team of art-loving creatives, we’re thinking 2020 will be our best opportunity yet to bring some of the things we cover in the magazine to life in a more experiential capacity. In November we converted our new HQ into a gallery space and hung a couple dozen reader-designed Void covers. It was a swell time. Good vibes, to be sure (dammit!). And there’s plenty more where that came from.
In 2019 we rolled out our new food column, Bold Bites. In the hands of BB Columnist Jack Twachtman, what started out as a thematic contextualization of trends in local dining, has morphed into a full-on brand of its own (BB even has its own Insta handle!). Now a collaboration between Void and our sister publication Edible Northeast Florida, Bold Bites has become the go-to resource for everything boldly delicious in our region. In February, we’ll drop our now-annual Bold Bites issue, which we promise will showcase only the choicest food porn. Here’s a taste of some of what we feasted on in 2019.
Play it Local. Play it Loud.
Aside from highlighting new and interesting local releases in each issue via our Arts & Music Columnist Daniel A. Brown’s Local Music Spotlights, we’ve endeavored to use our platform to hoist high those making beautiful noise in and around Northeast Florida. In 2019 we dropped more than 20 Into the Void: Office Music Series performances featuring artists who excel in a range of genres from hip-hop to rock to bedroom pop and emo. We also released our second all-local compilation on vinyl. Expect more vids and more records in 2020.