For the look the magazine, I was thinking of geometric shapes, patterns, use of illustration and collage, and a variety of typefaces.
“I wanted to create some kind of middle-ground where people could learn about and experience a culture from a local’s perspective in a fun and entertaining way without necessarily breaking the bank,” explains Guen. “Suitcase Magazine is a mix between fashion, travel and young culture in each of the destinations.”*
Suitcase Magazine is a quarterly fashion and travel magazine started in 2012. The magazine has a print, website and tablet format. The magazine is split between fashion editorial photoshoots (and your typical product recommendations) and written feature pieces (focused on anything from food to the local arts) of 2-3 different international locations.
Demographics / Advertising
Being a niche quarterly magazine imported from the UK, Suitcase is not sold in supermarkets, but in bookstores or magazine/newspaper stores like WH Smith. The circulation of the magazine is small limited to 25,000 and distributed internationally with most of their sales from the UK, US/Canada and other parts of Europe. Their readership is primarily women (85%) aged 18-35 which they describe as “female power players of the next generation” often high ranking professionals who have a “sense of wunderlust”. They have “high income and little time.” The median household income is £80K, more than enough to live comfortably in the expensive UK cities. Due to the higher age group and income of the readership, the brands paying for ad space are luxury beauty and fashion brands such as DKNY, Estee Lauder, and Bobbie Brown.
In addition to traditional print, web ads and advertorials (editorials covering products/brands), fashion editorials on their app are “taggable” and the readers can instantly shop for items featured in the magazine; Also, starting in February 2014, they’re starting an online shop featuring the international brands they’ve showcased as a mean to further interact with their audience and learn their tastes; the featured brands enjoy the extra exposure and sales.
Suitcase is printed in a small format (189mm x 246mm / 7.45 inch x 10 inch) and its cover usually has very little copy aside from the magazine title but it might mention one main feature within. It uses high quality, evocative photography of a variety of tones. Being a part-travel magazine, photography is not limited just the models, although there are certain model photoshoots of them wearing region inspired clothing, but of locals and location as well. The grid favors legibility over artistry most of the time and typically 1-3 columns, mostly 2. The column widths are wide but occasionally narrow. The magazine frequently favors putting reserved-out text (or black on a low opacity white box) on full bleed photographs. The publication uses a range of typefaces for decoration and emphasis, but ultimately legibility is key; their meat of the article is kept plain without any distracting flourishes. The typefaces they use depend on the subject matter, especially the regions they’re focusing on. The title text may favor a more hand drawn, san serif quality or sometimes more elegant serifs. The design of the magazine in terms of imagery and type choices changes from issue to issue although some things remain consistent such as grid.
(demographic information and forms of advertisement taken from their press kit)
For my magazine group project, Karen and I chose fashion. For one of the magazines to research, I chose Teen Vogue.
“Influence Starts Here. This simple mandate sets Teen Vogue apart. Style-conscious girls everywhere know there’s only one source for relevant fashion, beauty, and entertainment news communicated in a sophisticated tone with the power of the Vogue brand.” *
Basically TeenVogue in a nutshell. TeenVogue separates itself from the countless teen magazines such as Seventeen and Girls Life, by having the appearance of sophistication but with a youthful touch but not too young. TeenVogue is very successful, through my research I found it ranks in many blogger’s top lists of magazines targeted at teens, and its circulation is over 1 million, 90% of those numbers are from subscriptions. Aside from the magazine, it also has a website and an app for smartphones/tablets with articles and behind the scenes videos and photos. The magazine is praised for its content which range from mostly fashion but also music, literature, feature stories meant to empower girls such as a story of a real girls/young women’ triumph or adversity. The fashion part is kept youthful; although there is focus on runway fashion, there are also style bloggers/street fashion. TeenVogue is also unique in its role in publishing young rising stars and the objective is to appear to be ahead curve in both fashion and the who’s who of Hollywood; it hosts an annual “Young Hollywood” party which then becomes the feature of that month’s issue.
Demographics / Advertising
Despite the teen in its title and the occasional articles about prom when it gets close to that time of the year, the median age of their readership is 23, and 25% of their readership is attending college. The median age for their website is even higher, aged 27 (probably because they can read their “teen magazine” privately). I wager that is exactly what they want. Much of the content within TeenVogue still remains applicable to women college aged to early adult while they make the transition to the more adult Vogue. Readers of TeenVogue are fashion savvy and advertisers want their attention. Ads in TeenVogue are typically beauty and fashion related and they range from low affordable brands (like Revlon, Aeropostale) to midrange (Guess, MAC) to high (Armarni, Coach). The products in the magazine features and photoshoots vary from affordable to items in the $100-500 price much like the brands paying them for adspace.
The cover of TeenVogue is instantly recognizable on a magazine stand: it uses a 6¾”x9” sized format that not only differs from the rest of most magazines, but it’s small size also means it’s get prime real estate at the front of the racks where it won’t be hidden. TeenVogue uses photos from relatively high budget photoshoots for their cover and features alike which emphasizes the sophistication it wants to convey. Photoshoots are typically shot outdoors or with natural lighting indoors and the feeling ranges from dream-like, natural/casual, edgy and weird depending on the topic. The magazine doesn’t restrict itself to only certain colours. For type, the magazine uses a mixture of serifs (modern like didone for emphasis, and oldstyle/transition for the main text in articles for legibility) and sans serifs (geometic and neo-grotesque), swapping and changing the size to establish hierarchy and different sections. It is only in the very text heavy articles that grid is most obvious. The magazine’s typical approach is to fill or balance the page with pictures and fill the remaining space with text. The grid is mostly 1 to 2 columns but the size of the columns vary depending on the images. Text is not justified and it wraps around images when appropriate.
(Demographic info taken from their Media Kit)
This newsletter has remained relatively unchanged since last week. What I had in mind was bright colors, attention grabbing headers/call to action, and clear division of categories and articles. The important part was getting information across that is easy to read so I kept the text uncomplicated (and easy to edit), and used banners, colours and small visual accents to add interest. The audience of the events newsletter would be children’s parents.
The recommendations newsletter developed from the events newsletter and shares a lot of its elements. I thought the recommendations page would be something that parents would show to their children, so I thought it was important to add some graphic elements to convey information, like icons to represent type of medium (graphic novel) and genre (fantasy)
Feedback: Typesetting could use some touching up. Vector graphics could be changed orange to match the colour scheme?
Looking at the website, I noticed it offered a lot of teen resources such as help with studying and applying to post-secondary, so I had wanted to create handouts as my print component. However, I came to the realization as handouts, it seems more like single feature focused newsletters, so I am seeing how to convert this into more of a brochure/guide for students instead of individual pamphlets (or I could make another e-newsletter to represent the editorial part, and change . This last part of the assignment I spent the least time on and it went through the fewest number of revisions. I would probably see how to develop these future
Feedback: The printed elements lack unity with the web material which has a stronger identity.