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Curtain Call

Robin Donovan on magazines expanding their reach.



A woman stepped onto a dark stage. The lights went up, and we saw a car moving on a hanging screen. A cello thrummed on stage as she began to narrate a high-speed Los Angeles car chase. She was followed by a guy with HIV, whose description of vivid dreams – a medication side effect – was interpretively reconstructed by a dancer with a colorful blanket.

Scene after scene sped by. There was faux karaoke (“Don’t Stop Believin” is, apparently, karaoke DJs’ most-hated tune), live music … hell, even the ads were interesting.

Pop-Up Magazine is a theatrical translation of a print publication, brought to the stage with a combination of screens, music, acting, dance and other media. A friend invited me because, of course, I’m a magazine person. Amazingly, the concept of a magazine translated easily, even delightfully, to theater.

It made me think about bringing this brand’s audience content in new forms, too. I’ll always be a magazine person, but I’ve started listening to more podcasts lately. I’m seeing more shows at theaters. I’m watching friends move from radio to multimedia.

ST Media Group, our parent company, along with sister brand Big Picture, have teamed with SGIA to launch WFX: Wide-Format Exchange, a 2018 event where print shops and signmakers will converge for three days of networking, educational seminars, keynotes and idea exchange geared toward both wide-format print providers and those poised to expand into wide-format inkjet printing.

It’s a new format for our brand, and although we can’t offer you interpretive dance, we are extending an invitation to meet your peers and learn more about this growing aspect of the sign industry. Whether you’re new to digital printing, a wrap pro or a skeptic, we’ll have something for you.


I walked out of the theater earlier this week with an infusion of energy. The stories, the format, the audience reaction … I can’t stop thinking about those engagements and the future of media – and of Signs of the Times.

If you haven’t explored our new website, visit for news and updates beyond what we print. If you’d like to learn more about WFX, visit, and be the first to receive updates.

If webinars are your thing, join us for Lighting Channel Letters: LED Tips + Tricks, which goes live December 4. Sign up at

As for the rest, well, let’s just say we have some new projects in the works. And speaking of projects, have we seen your latest work yet? Email us your best photos. Who knows? You might just end up describing them on stage behind a mic one day.



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