The world of snap shutters, film cases and dark rooms may be increasingly a thing of the past, but there are still many fans of old-fashioned photography, just like vinyl records and so many old but beautiful things.
To celebrate this old-is-new sensibility — and maybe spur interest in its legacy products — Kodak is launching a new limited-edition print magazine, Kodachrome, dedicated to “analog culture,” including art, film, writing, sculpture, music and more.
With a cover price of $20, the magazine currently appears only available for purchase from Kodak’s online store — where the first issue already sold out. It's unclear whether Kodak is selling subscriptions to future issues.
At 76 pages long, the first issue of Kodachrome includes features, such as an interview with actress Chloë Sevigny on “film, felines, shooting fairy tales and taking the director’s chair,” a filmmaker who captures folk songs with a good ol’ Super 8 camera. (Kodak is the only company still producing Super 8 film.)
There is also a piece title “Music to Your Eyes: how gig posters bring out a designer’s most creative side,” and another titled, appropriately enough, “Print Is Dead Is Dead: why independent magazine culture is booming.”
On the aesthetic front, Kodachrome pays tribute to the analog age with a stylish, amusing 1960s vibe, right down to those little white scuff marks you find on vintage magazines – against a Kodak-brand yellow and red background, of course.
The launch of Kodachrome comes as Kodak mulls bringing back some of its defunct, but still beloved, products.
Earlier this year, Kodak CMO Steven Overman told the film and photography blog Fstoppers: “We get asked all the time... by filmmakers and photographers alike: 'Are you gonna bring back some of these iconic film stocks like Kodachrome, Ektachrome...' People love Kodak’s heritage products, and I feel, personally, that we have a responsibility to deliver on that love.”
It’s no secret the rise of digital photography hit Kodak’s core business hard. After peaking at $16 billion back in 1996, revenues subsequently tumbled to $1.5 billion in 2016.
But the example of vinyl records holds out hope the company’s film products could make a comeback, albeit as a niche item. Vinyl record sales have grown by double-digit percentages for seven years straight, and will reach 40 million units in 2017, according to Deloitte.