DX Award :: Born Magazine


Born Magazine is an online venue for art and literature collaboration. To date, Born’s volunteer staff (with an array of contributing editors, writers, designers, programmers, and musicians) have facilitated and published more than 200 collaborative, experimental projects. From Born’s first beginnings five years ago, it has caught our attention. Yet until now, we’ve never selected them for an award.


ARCHIVED DESIGN AWARD PAGE :: 2002 DX AWARDS

This page is republished for historical and archival reasons, highlighting the history of online design and the work of some of the many talented individuals who were instrumental in the early days of online media.


We are honored to select Born Magazine as this week’s recipient of the IPPA’s Award for Design Excellence.


Born Magazine is an online venue for art and literature collaboration. To date, Born’s volunteer staff (with an array of contributing editors, writers, designers, programmers, and musicians) have facilitated and published more than 200 collaborative, experimental projects.

From Born’s first beginnings five years ago, it has caught our attention at the IPPA. Yet until now, we’ve never selected them for an award — but you’ve got to go and visit and see why and what’s changed.

To understand Born is both a lesson in understanding perseverance and in understanding the difficult challenge of e-zine publishing in today’s market. Born is an all-volunteer, non-profit quarterly publication — in effect, if it wasn’t for the voluntary nature of its participation, it probably wouldn’t be there at all, despite its extraordinary content.

Publishing online today is a major financial gamble. Ad revenues, which once funded the bulk of all e-zines, have dried up to levels even lower than $1 cpm. The only ventures that seem to make financial sense, as a result, are those that serve as the online step-children of traditional magazines and newspapers.

The key to survival for Born Magazine has been to remain a non-profit voluntary entity. The effort is based on part-timers and designers who wish to donate their work to explore new directions. The e-zine serves as an outlet for creative energy and as a springboard to gain recognition from their peers and in the artistic community as a whole. As a result, the magazine tends to exhibit few boundaries, and it affords a nearly unique public forum for creative writers and multimedia artists get together and do their OWN thing — not for a client, but for themselves.

It is not an understatement to say that Born Magazine has emerged as one of only a handful of places online where you can find high quality, honest, unfettered, and real artistic expression. To date, the magazine has over 250 features, each one a small, very sophisticated experiment in bringing illustrated poetry, design, music, and fine arts across the wires of online media. You can spend a few minutes there, or five hours for that matter, and never quite see it all.

Yet despite this extensive and extraordinary collection of art, on August 16, 2002, the magazine still managed to break new ground. It launched an online, collaborative effort entitled We Experiment. The effort was developed and sponsored by a veritable who’s who of quality designers, including WebVisions, Hot Pepper Studios, Michael Merrill, DailyPDX.com, Wieden + Kennedy, Widmer Brothers Brewing, Media Temple, Aaron Matusik, and the renowned Brad Johnson from over at Second Story.

We Experiment allowed anyone to come in and submit their images and fragments of text to an evolving virtual experience. Don’t bother trying to get a login today because the experiment is closed, however, by the time the interactive project ended, there 4791 text submissions and 1540 images in all. Stitched together by a random selection Flash script, they become a sort of collective poetry and artistic stream-of-consciousness.

We Experiment, clearly, has set forth a new direction for Born Magazine — this is new ground, and we must add, new ground in today’s Internet, is hard to find. Our hat is off to the staff and volunteer contributors to Born Magazine! Keep it up!!



Key Staff:
Gabriel H Kean, Art Director
Anmarie Trimble, Editor
Jennifer Grotz, Contributing Editor
Kim Markegard, Programmer
Seb Chevrel, Programmer
Daryn Nakhuda, Programmer