Loco Mag: A History

To celebrate Loco Mag’s fifth birthday, we decided a quick look back into our past was in order, if only to congratulate ourselves on how much we’ve grown.

I asked a few of the staff members throughout the years about what Loco was like when they were here at Arcadia working on it.

Loco was born out of a class project between three people – Nicole Sowinski, Lauren Pickens, and Amanda Wyszynski – in the fall of 2011. “At the time the only publication was managed by the university so I think we were all intrigued about starting something new with no restrictions,” Lauren said.

They spent that fall planning out what to do (making a magazine is a big deal, who knew?). They had to come up with everything from scratch, from the name to the site. Lauren explained how they came up with the name Loco Mag: “We loved the idea of trains, they’re always moving taking people somewhere, and we wanted to transport people with our writing. The train was also our connection to Philadelphia, the closest cultural hub. The first version of the name was locomotion. Loco was a short, snappy way of getting our point across. It also means crazy in Spanish which we thought was pretty funny.”

the OG logo

Nicole, Lauren, and Amanda did a lot of the work in the beginning designing and managing the site, but in the spring of 2012, more people came on board, including Bri Wink. “There were about 8 of us all together… We didn’t have any contributors so we basically had to write tons in order to fill content. There were maybe 12 articles max. But it was fun! We got a few readers, mostly our parents, but there was some buzz about it around campus and it just felt really good to be a part of this really cool student magazine that was brand new.”

After the first semester, more people joined the staff, and they moved to a 3-issues-per-semester schedule. Outside contributors were sending in content, and the site started getting hits from the mysterious cyberspace – not just parents and on-campus friends.

Here’s a screenshot of the Loco site from 2014 (thanks for all you do, wayback machine). Fun fact, this issue was called “Against the Grain,” and featured two of our all-time most popular articles, Stop Sending Me Dick Pics (Brittany doing the Lord’s work) and Five Nonconformists Who Made History.

In 2014-15, the staff decided to revamp the site, which involved changing the logo and the website design. It was then that the logo that you see up at the top of the page right now and the yellow-and-white color scheme came to be.

Loco’s focus has broadened as the staff grows. Everyone brings their own voice and interests to the magazine. And as the world and staff have changed, the Loco voice has changed with it. “I think the bubble surrounding the happy, carefree college student has kind of burst and made room for more politically active voices,” Bri said.

So watch out, guys. For the ten-year anniversary, the Editor in Chief’s history round-up will probably go something like this:

“After successfully bringing down the Trump administration, the Loco team set to work on world peace and supplying fresh drinking water for everyone. Once that was accomplished, we set our sights on waging a war against AI, which is really the next big step and, I think, Loco’s final frontier.”

Thanks for being along for the ride, dear reader, and I hope to see you here for many issues to come!

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