Despite enjoying the advantages a digital publication affords, for their fifth anniversary, the Vangardist creators decided to take a chance and publish their first print edition of the magazine. Getting to touch, interact and simply feel the magazine sounded like too good an idea to pass on. As it turned out, it was the right move: the print version was a great success, and soon they increased print issues from one to four a year.
A watershed moment
But the magazine's real breakthrough was yet to come, and it was one that could only have been possible with a print version.
In 2015, Vangardist released their HIV-edition, an issue focused solely on the virus, with the intent to not only inform but to make waves, too. And make waves they did, not least because some of the pigments used for the cover were mixed with the blood of three different HIV-positive donors.
While wholly harmless from a health standpoint, this creative way of incorporating the topic right inside the physical object soon found Vangardist in the limelight. As expected, some voices went out of their way to lambast them for this approach, but exactly by doing so proved why it was still so important to talk about the subject.
Fortunately, a lot of praise came their way as well and resulted in nominations and awards for their exceptional way of tackling HIV and the stigma still associated with it.