The first issue of Contently Quarterly came out in 2012. It was 60-some-odd pages, printed in 14-point font, and illustrated with low-res photos from my uncle’s Instagram feed. At the time, Contently only had eight employees, and we put the whole thing together in two weeks. It wasn’t beautiful, but it was effective; it quickly helped us raise awareness for our young startup. There are still copies floating around the office, and when I see them, I get a tinge of nostalgia—although it might just be nausea from the amateur design.
Fast forward to today: Contently is close to 150 employees, a dozen of whom worked for six months to produce this magazine. We’ve gone from handing out copies at SXSW parties to a mailing list of 20,000 marketing execs. And as we’ve graduated from a scrappy startup to a full-fledged company, the Quarterly has evolved from the ratchet ‘zine of 2012 to a beautiful 160-pager.
I like to think of the Quarterly as a symbol of Contently’s subconscious at a given point in time. As the company’s grown in size, scope, and complexity, the topics we’ve covered in the magazine have mirrored those changes. In that first issue, we sent Joe Lazauskas around to a bunch of SXSW panels and parties to write about what he found. He’s now our editor-in-chief, and instead of gonzo-ing his way around Austin, he’s profiling the world’s best brand mags and shepherding an interview with Richard Branson. Instead of stealing from Instagram, we’re now featuring original art and photography from some of the best creative minds in the business. Shit, we even have our own custom font these days!
It was a devotion to storytelling that inspired our rag-tag team to put out that first issue, and it’s the same devotion that led to the edition you’re reading now. We hope it helps your content efforts reach new heights, just like it’s done for us.