Food and Travel Magazine: Initial Response

Subscribe Now Feb/March 2013I have decided to improve upon ‘Food and Travel Magazine’.
When I was flicking through painfully hideous marketing and rock music mags in the shop, Shaun asked me what actually interests me. That made me realise that there was no point choosing a badly designed marketing magazine that would drive me insane to look at that for next few months. Not only that, I wouldn’t understand whether or not it works if I don’t understand it!
I decided to look at my interests and one of them was food and cooking. I was looked through the, surprisingly, wide range of food magazines on the shelf when I stumbled across this one.
My initial reaction to it was quite a pleasant one. I enjoyed the topic and found the photography to be of a very high standard. I could have easily put it back down and made a rash decision to disregard it as ‘well designed’, luckily I didn’t- I kept reading. It quickly hit me that they were doing something wrong. I wasn’t too sure what it was straight away but I did know they weren’t cashing in on such a sexy blend of subjects.

I took the magazine to class with me and we all presented them.Unfortunately the limits to my feedback was a quick flick through and being told the photography “works for me.” I tried to explain the problems I saw with it but I didn’t have time to fully get my point across. It ended with me being told that the magazine worked and I should look for a new one.

I didn’t take that advice because I knew there was something wrong with it, so I set aside an hour or two to read it. I quickly found it horrible to read so I pulled out a pad and began to take notes about each page. To avoid making any naivety-based mistakes, I took note of the bad and the good.

Here are some of my observations


This magazines reliant solely on it’s great photography. It just feels as though they are missing a trick, the imagery and content means nothing if the design and delivery is wrong.
The content is a potentially fantastic and unique combination but it is not delivered in a sexy enough way. It is a magazine about food and travel, two things that just cannot be experienced without your senses!
Looking at an image of the pyramids on a computer screen is absolutely nothing like actually going there. And that is my foremost concern for this magazine. The journey, the experience, the excitement. None of it is there!
     > The reading experience isn’t reflective of the content. 
The concept I will use to carry my assignment: Sensory and Sensual.

Things to Pay Attention to:

  • Look at finding a font that takes you away from the computer screen, leaving that world behind and submersing you in the reading experience.
  • The way images are presented is so generic and in no way does it stimulate you.
  • The spreads are often painful to navigate. I want to create a journey, but not a shipwreck!
  • The paper feels very much like a magazine from the developed world should: glossy and mass producible. I want to try and avoid this, perhaps using a thicker, card-like paper to create more natural and unusual feel.
  • I want to make the magazine navigate differently. At the moment there is an extremely detailed contents page and I just want it to feel much more like a journey. Journeys aren’t always super detailed but hopefully this will be one of the ways I make this magazine an sensory-engaging experience.
  • I want to keep the great photography, this is what I see to be the magazines identity at the moment!
  • I also want to try and observe the colour themes of the pages, based on the photographs used. I think this is a lovely tool used.

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