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Starburst Magazine

Creating a Digital Hub of Cult Entertainment

iron throne
year founded
issues published

Starburst is the world’s longest running magazine of cult entertainment. The publication releases monthly issues uncovering the world of sci-fi, horror, fantasy and pop fiction with page-turning articles and eye-catching illustrations. Founded over forty years ago, Starburst is famed for publishing topical reviews and conducting interviews with some of the biggest names in the top franchises. Coverage dates back to the first Star Wars movie, through to today with reports on Game of Thrones and Doctor Who, alongside other popular box sets, movies and games.

More than just a Magazine

Starburst Magazine was aiming to engage their loyal fanbase in new and immersive ways. Dept was appointed to strategise, design and build a riveting world of digital content that would allow their global audience to go from print to web.

It was important for the website to amplify the experience Starburst Magazine provides, appealing to new demographics, yet preserve the legacy its readers have come to cherish. When designing the look and feel of the digital platform, Dept paid tribute to the heritage and authenticity of the magazine, whilst intertwining multimedia content to introduce a more modern identity. The new website not only reflects the tone of emerging editorial but also provides a vantage point for Starburst Magazine to diversify its brand.



Driving Exploration

The digital content hub for Starburst Magazine is a place for film buffs and fantasy fanatics to indulge in their favourite hobby. The stunning interface features large, attention-grabbing images alongside juicy snippets of moreish content. Website visitors are treated with an immersive magazine experience through an eclectic mix of interactive content of movie trailers, feature articles, custom comics, radio podcasts and beyond.

The structure of the website is tactically planned to fuel continuous engagement, enabling readers to seamlessly sift through trending content and posts in supporting categories. It’s easy for readers to search for subjects as well as lose themselves in the process with welcomed distractions. The content layout is logical, unexpected and surprising all at once, taking users on an adventure and mimicking the cliff-hanging moments in their magazine.

From Print to Screen

Dept created an editorial design layout, transferring the enjoyment of reading a printed magazine into the online browsing experience. An emphasis was placed on the designs since the key to achieving initial buy-in was ensuring readers could see a clear signature of Starburst Magazine on the website. And considering so many magazine subscribers are familiar with reading on-the-go, a mobile-first approach was taken in development. Tailored blueprints were created for all devices including tablet and mobile through to desktop and, as a result, the website is fully accessible and functions smoothly from all vantage points.

Populating the content hub with compelling articles and interactive media was crucial leading up to launch. Migrating all of the data and content from Starburst’s well-established brand identity was a massive undertaking that Dept collaborated with their internal teams to timely execute. This involved repurposing legacy print articles and transferring content from the previous website, as well as creating new pieces.



The release of the new Starburst Magazine brand website and content hub was a huge success, with many loyal magazine readers raving about the digital platform and sharing their finds over social media. The increase in social activity has amplified the Starburst Magazine brand, sparking a new community base and securing the longevity of the magazine. Likewise, the e-commerce subscription functionality on the website enables visitors to register with ease, which has been instrumental in increasing circulation for the monthly print magazine; achieving a core objective for producing the digital platform. The website content management system was a game-changer for Starburst, allowing their internal teams to upload, publish and preview content, as well as manage their magazine subscriptions, all within the admin interface.

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