Now I have not grown up with magazines, in fact my subscription to SFX is the second ever subscription I have ever had. My background is however in design. So when looking at Sci fi magazines, I am a little biased by design and branding, yet this still doesn’t affect SFX truly being an amazing magazine for all things geeky.
The reason I have started reading SFX is due to attending the SFX weekender with friends. I wanted to see if my friend’s now infamous Davros baby stroller design had gotten into its pages. While I was disheartened that he did not, and there was very little coverage in fact of an amazing weekend, I fell for the magazine.
Sci fi Now on the other hand was a glimpse of Chuck and Sarah on the front cover that caught my attention, but the content was just not captivating at all.
SFX, having recently undergone a rebrand clearly has realised the importance of design to make something easy to read, but also subtly has hints of branding throughout. The constant use of the same three fonts throughout the magazine makes it clear when you are sliding between the pages to what is content and what is advertising. Sci-fi Now has not seemed to grab onto this concept however, with no consistency throughout, but constant change throughout.
Instead they try to use the fonts of the shows, books or films they are writing about, which for the front cover really pulls you in, but internally just seems messy.
With much of SFX pulled together this constancy in sections, only the features swaying away from such structure, a ribbon, with facts flittered along it, really pull you through the magazine in an enjoyable read. Sure you can skip to the sections when and if you please, which is the first thing I do, skipping to “28 days later”, but you enjoy the flow when you read the whole magazine.
Sci fi Now’s reliance on existing imagery doesn’t give the same freshness that SFX has, with its quirky especially made images that add to the experience, often making me giggle.
Reading SFX, I have never once accidently read a spoiler, as they are clearly labelled, with categories to help, yet first article in Sci fi Now, and it spoiled my favourite series ending.
While my experience in writing is limited, I can at least know what I enjoy. The writing in SFX does vary, with different authors having a different flavour that it unique and yet equally pleasing. Sci fi Now however only had my enthralled because it was talking about Chuck, and after that nothing I read caught me, and I quickly moved on to my shiny newly delivered SFX for my nerdy hit
If you want a great magazine, full of interesting, fun articles with great design and writing, read the SFX magazine. You may wish to try Sci fi Now, as it does on the outset appear to have thrilling articles, I just found it not as appealing inside.