Magazine Industry: Trends and Challenges

printvsdigitalHere is a little research for ya! I am personally NOT a data person, but I found this topic to be very interesting. I still hear people say “print is going to die”, and I have also heard, “with the technological advances, who needs print publications anymore?” I’ve always believed that a printed product serves as that tangible “friend” that you just can’t get from a digital form.

First Research analyzed 32 different data sources, representing 4.5 million privately held businesses and detailed magazine industry financial benchmarks.

Top Results Included:

  • The US magazine industry is concentrated with 50 companies accounting for 60% of total revenue.
  • Profitability relies heavily on “marketing expertise”.
  • General Interest magazines make up 65 % of revenue.
  • Most companies have outsourced printing due to lower expenses.
  • Digital subscriptions have grown 560% since 2011.
  • Consumer magazine market expected to shrink up to 2017 internationally.
  • Total US consumer spending increased 1.6%, which drives magazine sales.
  • Total US revenue for periodical publishers increased 1.8% (includes magazine industry).
  • ­­Magazines aren’t a “growth industry” but they will remain relevant.

Industry Trends:

  • Magazine companies are revamping their websites to optimize for mobile devices and social aspects and include more multimedia content.
  • Websites are being updated regularly to remain as up-to-date as possible
  • More magazine publishers might need to allocate more resources to a website redesign specific for mobile and social media users.
  • Multimedia companies are growing
  • Changes in the distribution system
  • Digital editions of magazines as downloadable files rather than websites

They found that the top industry drivers were energy prices, Technology innovation and government regulation.

The identified industry challenges were that publications were dependent on advertising sales for revenue, there has been a decrease in paid circulation sales in the past decade, there is little room to negotiate price due to the consolidation of distributors, retailers, ad agencies and suppliers, theres a huge competition with free Internet sources, and the postal rates are steadily increasing.

All of this research to conclude that the magazine industry is managing to remain relevant and purposeful through the technological challenges and advances in society by finding new distribution channels and better predicting the direction that it must go in the digital world. The industry continues to face multiple challenges, but is skillfully shifting towards the production of digital publications and finding new ways to better integrate within social media, while still sustaining a large part of their print publication sales.

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Exploring Color Theory

Choosing colors for a design is both highly subjective but also highly scientific. Most designers search for a color palette that looks nice or will make their client happy. However, its much more than that. The most effective color choices go beyond the personal preference. Colors have an ability to influence mood, emotions, and perceptions; take on a variety of meaning; and consciously and subconsciously attract attention.

For us designers and marketers, the challenge is in balancing these roles that color plays to create an attractive and effective design. The basic understanding of color theory is very important. Traditional color theory can help you understand which colors might work well together in your design. Using colors in a design involves a lot more than choosing two or three hues and applying them equally in parts in your layout. Effectively applying color to a design project has to do with balance — and the more colors you use, the more complicated it is to achieve balance. Simplify your choices.

Try splitting your color choices into dominant and accent colors. The dominant color being the most visible and most frequently used in your design, while one or more accent colors will complement and balance out that main color.

A well-known rule of thumb for using a basic, three-color palette in a design is known as the 60-30-10 rule. Your dominant color will account for 60% of the color in the design, while two accent colors use up the remaining 30% and 10%. A good analogy for understanding how this works is picturing a man’s suit: the suit jacket and pants account for 60% of the color in the outfit; the shirt accounts for 30%; and the tie offers a small pop of color at 10% — creating a balanced, polished appearance. Using different shades and tints (or lighter and darker versions of a chosen hue) is another effective way to keep your color palette simple and balanced.

Color choice can really do a lot for your design, so use it to your advantage.

Below is an info graphic that helps a little with color coordination.

color_

The Perfect Color Palettes…

For the love of color, I’ve gathered a few inspiring color palettes to display. It’s always important to design with a nice color palette, which is usually sampled from a strong image or theme. Complementary colors make perfect sense when designing with such beautiful images. Even though the visionaries may not notice, designing with specific color palettes help the interpretation of the design.

 

Below are some inspiring color palettes:

Garden & Gun: Soul of the South

I’ve talked about (aka Facebooked, Tweeted and Instagramed about) writing a piece on Garden & Gun magazine for a long time. So finally here it is. It is worth the read.

First I would like to point out that it is an extreme rarity that I find a publication that I am 100% IN LOVE with in every single way. Partly because I love things that I feel are beyond my reach as a designer. It makes me strive that much more to be a success.

I first found Garden & Gun in the fall of 2011 (far too late if you ask me). I was taking my last magazine class at UF (University of Florida in Gainesville) and my professor pulled a handful of magazines out of her tote, as she did every week. She went through each magazine identity one by one and then passed them around the class for us to get a better look. The title threw me off at first, but now it makes more sense that ever.

Garden & Gun felt different in my hands. From the stock of the paper, the look and feel of the cover and as I thumbed through the pages, my dreams and goals as a designer flipped right in front of my eyes.

About G&G: Garden & Gun launched its first issue in 2007. The magazine won three ADDY Awards and eight Magazine Association of the Southeast GAMMA awards in its first year, while being named the nation’s second-hottest magazine launch in 2007 by MIN Magazine.  Since its launch, the magazine has won several National Magazine Awards and has proved that a southern focused, glossy regional magazine can  more than thrive in the iPad app era.

From its hometown of Charleston, S.C., Garden & Gun serves up a bimonthly magazine full of Southern hospitality that attracts a readership so devoted that many of them pay an extra $500 a year just to be a part of its “secret society.” And what do said members receive? A weekend tote bag, a decal and, like an invitation to the lavish wedding of a distant but admired relative, the opportunity to spend another $5,000 to attend an annual weekend retreat with the magazine’s writers, editors and contributors at Blackberry Farm in Tennessee.

Design (my favorite part):
The design choices that are made from issue to issue continues to surprise and impress. The photography is outstanding and vivid. The layout is fresh and clean. The color palettes seems to be carefully chosen for the season and issue. Overall the design pieces fit together intricately like pieces of the most difficult puzzle.

Content: Garden & Gun is a portrait of Southern life at its finest. It covers the best of the South, including the sporting culture, the food, the music, the art, the literature, the people and their ideas. Stories are adventure-bound, art-loving and full of Southern tradition and values.

Audience: Since its first issue back in 2007, the title has developed a devoted following of Southerners who appreciate the perfect mint julep, a new pecan pie recipe, deer and duck hunting in Mississippi and shooting some skeet on a chilly Sunday in Novemeber. It’s a regional publication to its very core but, in recent years, the magazine has also landed on the coffee tables of New York-based editors.

Growth: While all the congratulatory praise might seem hyperbole, the numbers back up the staff’s pride. Readers are all over the country, although about 65 percent is centered in the South. Garden & Gun initially had 19,000 paid subscribers back in 2007 around its launch, with a rate base of 150,000, and has since grown to over 173,000 paid subscriptions, with a rate base of about 225,000. A subscription for six issues per year costs around $20.

Awards (all awards since launch):

2013
ASME Best Cover Contest, “Most Delicious” cover for Oct/Nov 2012 issue
2012
MIN Editorial  & Design Awards, Winner – Photojournalism Award, “The Call of the Hunt”
ASME, National Magazine Award Nominee, General Excellence:
ASME, National Magazine Award Nominee, Single Topic Issue Category
ASME, Best Sporting Cover, Finalist

2011
Advertising Age’s 2011 Magazine A-List
ASME, National Magazine Award WINNER, General Excellence: Food, Travel & Design
James Beard Foundation Journalism Award

2010
Grand GAMMA Award
MIN Magazine, Best of the Web

2009
ASME Best Lifestyle Cover of the Year Finalist

2008
ADDY Awards (3)
PRWEB Top 20 Hottest Publications to Watch in 2008

2007
MIN Magazine, 2nd Hottest Launch
MIN Magazine, Top Editorial Team
Advertising Age’s Magazine Covers We Loved

Resources:

Garden & Gun

Women’s Wear Daily

Off the Cuff

Covering Tragedy…

It seems now more than ever that tragedy finds ways to repeat itself. The past several years of these devastating events have Americans fearful for their lives every day. For those of us who were so lucky to have not been a victim, we find ourselves grateful that our families and loved ones weren’t involved, yet ironically we search for details, images, videos and tapes to get us closer to the truth. It is almost as if we would’ve wanted to be there every second along the way. Well one thing is for sure, we want the whole story with as much coverage and as many evocative images as possible.

When magazines cover tragedies there is a fine line between appearing insensitive and being mindful of those involved and their families. The following slideshow features covers about tragedy. Different techniques were used and some are more effective than others.

If these covers bring feeling, emotions and memories to mind, then they work! Kuddos.

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Rue Mag = Your Everything Modern Chic Guide

My newest magazine discovery and obsession. This lifestyle magazine specializes in everything modern chic, including fashion and home décor.

The layout is clean, fresh, simple and to the point. Colors are vibrant, cool yet explosive. Photography speaks for itself  and tells the story meanwhile articles are short yet informative.

Check out Rue Magazine at www.ruemag.com

The Perfect Spring Palettes…

As Spring is here and the April showers begin, new fads and color palettes are on the rise. Just like every other element of graphic design, color palettes follow are constantly evolving. This year’s color trends are as diverse as they are compelling; brights and neons combine with greyscale to add some zing to clean, modern styles, while pastel palettes lend a softness to playful designs.

What’s great about these new color trends is that they all combine seamlessly and help distinguish important elements and break up sections as well as conveying a style or mood, which is essential in graphic design.

Here are some inspirational Spring 2013 color palettes that I’ve noted:

Colour Lover also offers a huge selection of color palette suggestions:

Colour Lovers Spring Palettes