Archive for the ‘supplements’ Category


November 28, 2012

Grace Coddington has a book out so the publicity interviews with US Vogue‘s model-turned-creative-director have been all over the supplements.  The Observer Magazine has an interview by Eva Wiseman, while Janet Maslin provides for the New York Times. But they diverge on the facts. Wiseman writes:

‘While Wintour is painted as a terrifying ice queen … Coddington never wears make-up…’

Maslin writes:

‘Abruptly she mentions the ghastly car accident that severed one of her eyelids. The injury was miraculously repaired, but it sidelined her for a while and pushed her to affect dark and heavy eye makeup. Today, still a provocateur who prefers extremes to the dull middle, she lightens the area around her eye sockets to achieve what she calls “that pale, bald Renaissance look.” It’s a look that sends a spooky message to the conventional beauty world.’

Take a look at the Observer photographs by Danielle Levitt or the many other profiles and see who you believe.

Julie Kavanagh’s 2011 profile in Intelligent Life is a much closer portrait, but then Kavanagh was her assistant in the 1970s.

Also, Vogue has put up a Coddington timeline, videos of interviews and an excerpt from the book and shows Coddington as the model for Vidal Sassoon’s Five Point Cut.

Vogue profile



Magazines expand revenue sources

March 17, 2011

In the 1980s, I worked as a sub and reporter for two weekly medical newspapers: Doctor and Hospital Doctor. In each issue of both, there was a spread of reader offers by post: one page for medical equipment, the other for general goods. It was a good source of income and an idea I copied at Redwood Publishing – I was later told the cash income from one offer saved the company from going bust.

But the idea of publishers selling goods off the page goes back far longer than that. Tit-Bits, that great Victorian pioneer of marketing and all these magazines, spun off books, puzzles and offers of all kinds. Publishers have always sought new sources of revenue because the margins are often far higher than the main publishing business – the trick is not to upset your advertisers.

And it’s still true today, with Future this week teaming up with the Telegraph to produce computer guides for the newspaper’s readers. Windows: The Official Magazine has developed Confident Computing supplements that will be published on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 March, for the Daily Telegraph’s 1.68m readers and the Sunday Telegraph’s 1.45m readers. That’s a lot of publicity for the magazine, and Future will be hoping that the glossy, 52-page supplements will draw less tech-savvy users into the magazine with sections on email, online shopping, internet security and hardware and troubleshooting tips. Alongside the Saturday supplement will be a subscription deal offering three copies of Windows: The Official Magazine for just £1 each.

Future obviously sees potential growth in the magazine (seems strange, just as PC and laptop sales are being hit by the iPad frenzy) with a series of Official Windows Presents set for April, an example of ‘brand extension’ in today’s jargon. Each of these will focus on how computing can help people ‘get more from life’ in areas such as home entertainment, travel, buying and selling online and healthy living.

This is an area where Future has experience: in the 1990s, the Financial Times bought the publisher to pursue just such activities, but the idea floundered and Future took itself independent again.

Other recent ideas include:

But the title that’s really made a go of it in this area in Tyler Brule’s Monocle.

  • shops selling its branded goods in London and four other cities;
  • goods made by international brands, from a £20 Monocle notebook to a £370 blanket for sale online;
  • Other products branded with its logo have included: a Comme des Garçons perfume; a bicycle; bags; and a Danish-made table. Its bags costs £155-£270. Media Week reckoned it had sold 2000. At £200 each, that’s an income of 400,000, comparable with the magazine selling 100,000 copies a month at £5 each;
  • sponsored online video intervieews, reports and travel guide sponsored by the likes of Maurice Lacroix, Spanish tourism and Bloomberg.

Observer relaunch on Sunday

February 18, 2010

The Observer is relaunching on Sunday. The revamp of the magazine supplement it did in 1994 is one of my favourites.

In the week before, the editor seemed to deliberately choose the most downbeat cover topic possible and the designer gave it a cover to match. See what I mean  -

Observer supplement 27 Marchh 1994

How much more dreadful a cover can you get - everything is going downhill

Then comes the wham-bam redesign next week:

Observer supplement redesign 1994

A whacky contrast in all senses of the word from the relanch the week after

In August last year, the Guardian Media Group put the future of the loss-making Observer – the world’s oldest Sunday dating back to 1781 – on review. At the end of the day, the group exists to preserve the Guardian and so the Sunday’s future seemed in doubt. Instead, GMG sold the Manchester Evening News and the rest of its regional titles to Mirror-owning Trinity, thus cutting its ties with the city that gave it birth as the campaigning Manchester Guardian.

Profiles of newspaper groups

FT’s How To Spend It goes online

October 2, 2009

The new website for How To Spend It, the monthly luxury magazine for the Financial Times, goes online tomorrow.  The advent of – which dubs itself  ‘The world’s most luxurious website’ – coincides with the 15th anniversary of the magazine and promises a “highly innovative and visually stunning digital format”.

The design was handled by Razorfish and uses Adobe Flash 10 to translate ‘the glossy magazine reading experience into a convincing luxury online environment’ with a 3D viewing format.

The website will feature exclusive online content:

  • Van der postings: Lucia van der Post, launch editor for the original magazine, is the new star columnist;
  • The Aesthete – a new magazine column about the world’s tastemakers;
  • Technopolis TV – magazine columnist Jonathan Margolis with weekly video bulletins from the world of gadgets and technology.
  • Reconnoisseur – daily insider intelligence from magazine contributors.
  • Daily gift guide launches in November
  • Videos of the magazine’s most visually compelling features, including a behind-the-scenes video of an underwater fashion shoot

Editor Gillian de Bono said:

How To Spend It set the benchmark for luxury lifestyle magazines 15 years ago and now we want to establish the brand as the benchmark for luxury lifestyle websites too. To this end, the print and online operations are fully integrated, produced and edited by a single in-house team using the same top-tier writers, photographers and illustrators.

Launch sponsors include Rolex, Krug and Harry Winston.

Until now, there has been a digital facsimile edition of the magazine.

Evening Standard puts magazine online

December 13, 2008

London’s Evening Standard newspaper has put its weekly magazine, ES, online. However, the magazine, which comes with the paper on Wednesdays, has not gone for a digital facsimile version. Instead, it’s a website with a landing page showing a rolling display of the three top features – Duffy, men in tights and ice queen fashion at Somerset House’s  rink this week.

It’s sponsored by Emporio Armani and also has room for Sienna Miller holding hands with Keira Knightley at the British Independent Film Awards.

Fabulous gap for the Screws

February 11, 2008

Peter Preston, former Guardian editor, argues that Fabulous, the new supplement for the News of the World that is firmly aimed at women, has opened up a gap between itself and the rest of the paper (‘Nice try to turn the Screws, but is it Fabulous?‘).

The News of the World had plodded away with its boob-congested old Sunday supplement over three decades: flimsy, tatty, downmarket, all of a piece with the paper it accompanied. But Fabulous is wholly different.

This, he feels, could be a problem for the main paper’s editor:

The problem is wondering whether the rest of the paper – shrewdly edited by a real old pro, Colin Myler – can keep up with what the girls are doing with their bumper bundle. You can smarten up the typography – Myler has. You can add oodles more colour – Myler will, as soon as all Rupert Murdoch’s new presses come on stream in a few months’ time.

Yet, nevertheless, it is still the old News of the Screws: sharp-elbowed, crudely jokey, inexorably locked into nights of passion with minor TV stars and tales of what happens when Gary Goldenfoot plays away. There isn’t a neat, natural fit, in sum. There isn’t the snug placing the Mail on Sunday contrives for its two added mags [You for its women readers and Live, 'the only men's magazine in the national press'], cleverly constructed extensions of the core newsprint version’s appeal.

He sums up:

A magazine that works on Sunday has to belong to the main body of the kirk and bring something to the party – which means it’s down to Myler now.

Fabulous launch -’So this is fabulous?’

So this is Fabulous?

February 6, 2008

Kelly Osbourne on Fabulous coverThe relaunched News of the World supplement Fabulous hit the streets on Sunday as ‘Britain’s biggest weekly glossy’.  It justifies the  word ‘biggest’ not on the strength of its size  (74  sub-A4 pages) but on the fact that it has the biggest print run  (the paper sells 3.2m every week).

Kelly Osbourne was the cover girl (she’s 23 – and still calls herself a brat) and the rest seems to tick all the right boxes (diet, relationships, fashion, beauty and lifestyle) for the target female audience. Will NotW now follow the Mail with a mag for men?

The magazine seems to have taken a leaf out of rival Express publisher Richard Desmond with an attempt to make money off the back of a website.  He tried it with a whole bookshelf magazine linked to a website; Fabulous sells the clothes it features in an online ’boutique’ (you can ‘click and buy’ the dresses Osbourne’s wearing and Chloe Sevigny’s ‘so-so’ glasses) and there are copious links to a dating website.

Most of the articles from the mag are on the website, though the  designs  are rejigged because web layouts have to be cruder than in print. For example, the Suzanne Shaw beauty page has the headline moved to the top of the web page because it would be below the ‘fold’ otherwise. In other cases, a page with several items has them presented individually online.

The Guardian gives the mag a big review and says ‘To be fair to News International, the launch of Fabulous is a big deal.’ But is it? Sure the numbers are big, but do people really care about these supplements and other free mags?


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