Yoga Journal Goes Women's Mag

By Newman, Robert | Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management, September 1, 2004 | Go to article overview

Yoga Journal Goes Women's Mag


Newman, Robert, Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management


Byline: Robert Newman Design Director, Fortune

MAG STATS

Yoga Journal

Company Yoga Journal LLC

Editor-in-chief Hillari Dowdle

Managing Editor Kaitlin Quistgaard

Design Director Sharyn Belkin Locke

Art Director Jonathan Wieder

Women's mags hardly send a Zen vibe, but that the look Yoga Journal is adopting to "reach a broader readership of newcomers to yoga,"namely younger, female readers. The result is a solid, if uninspired, freshening and refocusing of the magazine.

THE COVER

The new cover design adds energy, with type, imagery and color. Although the designers have succeeded in making a "hotter" and more dynamic cover while maintaining the general feel of serenity so integral to the magazine, the editors need to hone their headline-writing skills. The wrong words are often highlighted in the heads. Why emphasize the headline "7 STEPS," when it should be the underline? "It's Fun. It's Challenging. It's Deep," explains nothing. They are trying to mimic women's magazine headlines without the directness and simplicity of content essential to the form.

The magazine begs for an explanatory cover tagline to give readers a sense of the breadth of its content, a la the "life/home/body/soul" line of Real Simple. This kind of branding technique is sorely lacking throughout Yoga Journal.

TYPOGRAPHY & GRAPHICS

The actual typefaces appear the same, but the designers have skillfully adjusted the usage, adding more serif display type, and showing an overall lighter and more graceful touch. The features in particular are much more typographically elegant and impressive.

FRONT/BACK OF BOOK

Many of the pages, including the TOC, contributors' and editor's page, have been smartly tweaked, with added white space, refined logos and a more logical presentation of information. …

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