This is part five of the multi-part series The New Magazines on the excellent new magazines currently being published in Montreal.
The magazines we have featured so far (The Alpine Review, Rake&Co., and CITTÀ) were mainly focused on city life and culture. Baron has a bit more of a business slant, but with an infusion of culture nevertheless.
Baron is particularly interested in creativity, entrepreneurship, design, business and marketing. You’ll be able to find stories about cutting-edge Japanese office furniture, a new web series on advertising or the new trends in e-tailing. Baron also has an interesting recurring series on how creative professionals work.
I met Nelson when he reached out to write an article about the Entrepreneurs Anonymes group that I co-founded for Baron. What was supposed to a brief interview about the group turned into a mutual exploration of our various past entrepreneurial projects!
Nelson is a passionate serial entrepreneur with an extensive background in launching ventures in media, publishing and events. He also seems to share a completely unbounded curiosity, with interests cutting across food, business, art and music.
[The winter 2015 edition of Baron is now available.]
Nelson Roberge, Editor at Baron
Nelson is director, producer, designer and editor at Extra Caramel. He is the editor of both Baron and Perle magazines, as well as the organizer of the J’ai faim food fest. He was previously editor in chief of Bang Bang music site, and a director and promoter at R.A.D., a punk rock record label.
1. How did your first get interested in magazines and get the idea to start Baron specifically?
I’ve been passionate about magazines for a very long time now. At that the age of 8 or 9, I read Safarir and Bamboo (two underground comic magazines, at the time) and I knew I wanted to be a cartoonist when I grew up. So I started publishing my own comics at 13 years old. Later on, I rebelled and I started a punk fanzine (RAD: Rien à déclarer) that turned into a magazine and was distributed in major cities across Quebec.
That’s when I realized I was more interested in publishing than being a cartoonist. Since then, three magazines were created: BangBang, Perle and Baron. Baron started with the idea of satisfying our thirst for marketing, entrepreneurship and to see what was going on outside of Quebec. There are so many inspiring things going on in the world and we wanted to help people discover them.
2. Can you tell us a bit more about Baron and its mission/purpose? Who is your reader?
Baron’s mission is to inspire french professionals and entrepreneurs by discussing creative projects from here and elsewhere. We are particularly interested in design, business and marketing. Understanding how other companies manage their business or projects is something that we like to share. Our readers have backgrounds in communications, design (graphic, industrial, architecture) and culture (music and visual arts).
3. Why is publishing a print copy still relevant in the digital world of 2013? How do you think about distribution?
Publishing is not relevant for all projects. It all depends on your targeted audience and objectives. It’s the same thing with distribution. For Baron, publishing is important because it serves as a complement to the media. The web is a direct and daily way of communicating with your audience, the print is a tangible object that people want to hold and the events enforce a sense of community.
For Baron, the printed version is also a kind of business card, a promotional tool for all of our activities. Everyone still loves holding and smelling printed products. The digital world has not killed print, I believe the two are very complimentary. Baron is distributed for free in some strategic locations, such as some universities in Montreal as well as in the cities of Toronto and Vancouver. However, Baron is primarily a paid circulation in certain specialty stores.
4. What is the editorial process of Baron? How are the topic for each issue chosen?
There is always a main theme and that theme varies and depends on the latest trends in the business world. We also love talking about who’s new in the industry and how they got started.
5. What are you working on now? What’s next?
We are always striding to keep up with the market because there are no obvious moves to be made in independent media. The fall 2013 edition of Baron will be launched September 24 and will cover the city of Helsinki. At the same time, we will present our new espresso cup, handmade out of wood, by Milan. And on top of this all, we are working on a food and design event at the end of the year.
Read more from LP Maurice's The New Magazines series:
This article and The New Magazines series was originally published on Swell, in September 2013.