Local magazine encourages readers to step away from the screen

An in-house graphic designer for Great American Insurance may have taken a night of joking around with friends a little too seriously, but in this case, that's not a bad thing. 
 
Brad Plogsted and some of his friends were at the Comet last December when a discussion about the decline of newspapers started. After a few minutes, the group jokingly decided that they were going to make their very own newspaper. 
 
Plogsted says he very well may be the only one that thought about the idea after that night, but after working on the idea for a few days, then sending his ideas to his friends, Abservd, a magazine that explores how the digital revolution changes everyday life, was born in just a few short months. 
 
Issue zero, a preview issue, came out on Leap Day with essays, illustrations, fiction and more that explore the impact of the likes of Twitter, Facebook and other technologies on our minds, personal relationships and beyond. From advertisements, to layouts, to font choices, to color schemes, everything in Abservd harkens back to the Industrial Revolution. 
 
"Our world is changing faster for the first time since the Industrial Revolution, and we just want to encourage people to slow down and step away from the screen," Plogsted says. "There is a lot of value in something tangible." 
 
The magazine has a humorous feel to it with fake "Abvertisements" such as this: "Bottled Tap Water: Our water is better than yours because it's individually packaged." Issue one even includes two posters, another way Plogsted encourages people to stop and look.
 
The first official issue came out in April and will be printed eight times per year. Abservd, a combination of the words observed and absurd, is currently available in local retailers such as Joseph-Beth, Mica 12/v and Park + Vine. Plogsted says he hopes to have the magazine regionally distributed within one year and then reassess from there. 
 
"Right now this is a volunteer effort for everyone," Plogsted says. "We really hope to get some more advertisements and create income for our contributors." 
 
By Evan Wallis
 
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