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

Observations.PDF

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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