Week 6 – Project 2: Magazine Case Study Research (2/2) – Suitcase Magazine

Suitcase Magazine - Zandra Rhodes cover suitcase_1

5. Suitcase Magazine  Photographer Savannah Baker

“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.

35. Suitcase Magazine - Popcaan Photographer Savannah Baker 36. Suitcase Magazine- Photographer Savannah baker Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 10.25.31 AM    Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 10.33.24 AMScreen Shot 2014-02-18 at 10.33.42 AM  suitcase-1-1024x666


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.

screen-shot-2013-10-12-at-01-05-32-1Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 10.37.59 AMScreen Shot 2014-02-18 at 10.33.12 AM

(demographic information and forms of advertisement taken from their press kit)


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