Monday, April 23, 2012
A very intetesting article in today’s Globe and Mail which, in the print editon,  features a fabulous cover from LIFE magazine in 1965.

The cover is a classic “less is more” treatment.

It is a great example of the power of an image to get you to stop and take a second glance. Placed in historical context, the cover was arguably radical,  tackling an important issue about the gender equality movement, and also being ahead of the curve with a sport (skateboarding) that was still in its infancy of developing for both men and women.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012
The newly designed Glow Magazine is set to debut. Formerly published by Rogers, it is now published by St. Joseph Media. 

The art director, Daniel Mackinnon, says:

“The magazine has been designed with lots of white space with smart editorial entry points. This supports our fresh, modern and uncluttered approach to design. The additional space allows the images and type to come alive before the reader’s eyes, really pulling them into stories.”

Top: New version by St. Joseph
Bottom: Former edition by Rogers Publishing


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Kim Pittaway, veteran editor, is teaching a six-week intensive magazine workshop at University of King's College in Halifax, in the Bachelor of Journalism program, and she asked me to post the students covers and mission statements, for discussion. Vote for your favourite cover below!


“On the first day of the session, students form groups, come up with a magazine idea and a target market, and then spend the next six weeks bringing their idea to life. They produce a basic business plan (advertising and circulation plan). They create live content–researching and writing all of their stories, fact-checking and copy-editing pieces, and doing their own photo shoots (including cover). They do all of the layout and design themselves. At the end of six weeks, they have a complete magazine in PDF format, which they upload to MagCloud for printing. This year, the smallest book was 52 pages; the biggest was 84. I had groups doing in-studio food photography, 5:30 a.m. fashion shoots at Peggy’s Cove (faking summer in 4-degree weather), and writing articles on urban dumpster divers, cold-water surfers and profiles of musicians such as Joel Plaskett (Plaskett even did a cover shoot with the MixTape group),” says Pittaway.

“I’m the lead instructor. Kate Ross at King’s is their technical saviour. Halifax photographer Michael Creagen supports them on the photography end (though they do they shoots themselves). And Caren Watkins comes down for two intensive days of work on design and then gives them design feedback on their first-draft and revised layouts and covers. I’m enormously proud of what they’ve produced in such a short period of time. It’s not perfect–but it’s a pretty good shot for work that is wholly student-produced under considerable time pressure,” says Pittaway.

Here are the editorial mission statements:

Hitched: Hitched aims to inspire. We want to give you the tools and ideas to plan your wedding, and then watch you branch off and put your own spin on it. We know you: we know you frequent Pinterest, Etsy and Wedding Gawker. We find the best of what’s out there and bring it to you.  If Vera Wang and tandem bikes had a baby, it would be us. We’re current, not trendy. Nostalgic, not old-fashioned. Hip, but not hipsters. We’ll help you create timeless memories that will make your wedding album a keepsake not a fashion wall-of-shame. Crack us open. Fold down the corners, scribble on our pages, tear out our sheets. Hey girl, we’re here for you.

Menace:  A magazine for smart, cool Canadian males aged 18-30, Menace is a lifestyle magazine for a group who has a craving. Our readers want to be ahead of the curve and need to know the latest music and movies. They have to look good without spending too much. They’re often university-educated but don’t yet have a specific career path. They impress their friends by making original drinks and by having the coolest place where everyone wants to hang out. Menace covers all of these bases plus entertainment, video games, drinks, food, sex, relationships, sports and pop culture. We include profiles of the people our readers aspire to be. Readers of Menace are envied by everyone whose paths they cross, and they know it. Every editorial page of Menace draws readers in, provides new information and always entertains. Our website,, offers access to a selection of articles while providing supplemental content to the magazine – movie trailers, videos, music samples, full-length interviews.

MixTape: Mixtape Magazine provides clever insight into artists’ musical tastes and personal style – be it a close look at their latest album, the layout of their recording studio or workspace, or the clothes on their backs and the shoes on their feet. Mixtape is a thoughtfully crafted guide to inform music-lovers. Stocked with interviews, infographics and lists, Mixtape features the best of Canadian and international, alternative, folk and electronic music. It is aimed at young, music and style-conscious individuals–the serious listeners and those interested in getting their feet wet in this scene. Mixtape Magazine aims to inform, entertain and guide its readers through an engaging visual experience. It’s read by that cool, quiet person you want to talk to but always has their headphones on. The magazine’s nostalgic tone and intimate portraits appeal to any nerd who views music as a lifestyle and appreciates the beauty of a three-part harmony or the late nights spent hunched over a laptop. Mixtape is a magazine to covet, collect and share. One to read and examine again and again. Its beauty is more restrained and inspiring than the average music magazine. Mixtape: for people who listen.

MODE: Our mission is to provide Canadian women ages 21-35 with an honest and entertaining guide to living a full and stylish life in a way that’s authentic, fresh and financially achievable. MODE is your effortlessly stylish BFF who wants only the best for you. We’re all about making you look good and feel even better. We’re all about spilling the details on everything from style to decor. We’re right there with you drooling over that gorgeous trench coat or posh minimalist-chic coffee table. We believe in spending smart and finding a balance between timeless classics and trendy pieces. Above all, our top priority is to keep you, our reader, informed. MODE will also deliver information on matters that affect your life. These issue-based stories will be featured every month under “Money”, “Health”, “Investigation” and “Real Life” as well as a “Profile” on an inspiring woman. We will give you advice from experts on everything from buying your first house to the newest health related beauty news as well as true stories from real women. Our readers can trust that our advice, stories, tips and editorials are well-researched, candid and accurate. We believe in offering style and substance. Intellectual integrity is our use every-day-of-your-life staple – because beyond the glitz and glam, nothing is more appealing than a smart, well-informed young woman.

realTRAVEL: realTRAVEL is for Canadians who desire authentic travel experiences. Our readers don’t need to be sold on the idea of travel, they already see it as accessible both at home and abroad. Our readers are people who plan their lives around travel; they take journeys that satisfy a deeper, personal curiosity – not just for show. realTRAVEL is written to the well-informed and well-traveled audience. We don’t pretend that travelling is easy, but understand it’s a way of life. We cover a wide range of travel topics in an honest, straightforward style. Every issue helps our readers “plan it”,“live it”, and stay connected to the world.

The Dish: The Halifax Seaport Market is packed every weekend.  Downtown restaurant patios are crammed each summer.  Community gardens are popping up around the city, and university students are creating food movements on their campuses.  Haligonians are enamoured with their food, and it’s that love that The Dish magazine is tapping into. Dish magazine if for the bright, social and mostly urban men and women of the Halifax Regional Municipality, ages between 25 and 54, who have a lust for food and an interest in their community.  We will cover a wide range of food topics in and around the HRM – from that hip new restaurant to the perfect little mom and pop diner.  Readers will also discover how to hone their palates and get to know their local food producers, restaurant owners, bartenders and chefs. Dish Magazine will deliver easy to read content that’s entertaining, skim-able, casual and fun.  For more than just the average foodie, Dish magazine goes beyond recipes and nutritional information to engage the reader in all aspects of the local food industry, focusing on food in a community they can relate to – their own.

Thursday, April 05, 2012
The Periodical Marketers of Canada has commissioned a marketing study that has been released today. (Link to Globe & Mail article).

The poll shows that readers still prefer printed magazines to digital versions overwhelmingly. Plus, those who do buy digital editions are nearly twice as likely to buy additional printed magazines in any given month.

We asked Ray Argyle, executive director of the Periodical Marketers of Canada, to expand a bit on why they commissioned the survey and what they hope to do with the information to leverage additional newsstand sales. Here’s what he shared:

“One day in August 2011, a roomful of industry folk were pondering the question: How can we demonstrate to retailers that magazines are still a vital product, and deserve strong support from retailers?”

“Industry veteran Tom Worseley (with Coast to Coast) summed it up aptly: “We need to get all the partners together in a single cause – maybe that’s a job for PMC,” he said.

“PMC – Periodical Marketers of Canada – the wholesaler association, took the gambit. With leadership from Peter Olson at News Group, Dan Shapiro of Metro News and Paul Benjamin of Benjamin News, we took on the task of crafting a multi-layered campaign. Generous financial support was forthcoming from PMC members and other industry players, publishers and distributors.”

“We decided on a two-prong strategy: to design presentations for retailers, and to model a consumer media campaign that would reach the public with persuasive messages about the value of magazines. We realized we had to find new and definitive data to support our arguments. Retailers were tired of the same old “motherhood messages” about magazines. They’d made it clear they didn’t want to be bothered being told once again what they already knew. So we had to unearth new data. That meant a national survey (never before done) of Canadians’ attitudes toward newsstand magazines – what motivates them to buy and read, whether they’re still loyal to print, and the role of such factors as cover prices and display in influencing their buying habits.”

“Leger Marketing talked to 1,600 magazine readers and produced an extremely well thought out report. It became the basis of our campaign, which we dubbed MARC – Magazines at Retail Canada. We used the survey results, together with other industry information, to produce an array of tools: a print brochure, a Powerpoint presentation “Fast Facts for Retailers”, and a video, “Consumer Preferences in the Magazine Category”. We posted all of these tools to a bilingual web site,, in downloadable form. The complete Leger report is available there too.  The video also went to YouTube,”

“We issued news releases which are garnering a ton of publicity, starting with a half page in the Globe and Mail ROB section. As we go forward, PMC members will be using the MARC campaign to give retailers a fresh understanding of the fantastic asset that newsstand magazines represent in their marketing mix. We intend to follow up with an evaluation of the program, and will go from there to build further support for single copy sales across the country.”

Ray Argyle, Executive Director, PMC

About Me
Scott Bullock

Scott Bullock is the the creator of Bullock has worked as circulation director for both consumer and B2B magazines including Toronto Life and FASHION. If you have a great cover to share, please send all submissions to 

Note to readers: some of Bullock's posts may refer to his clients.
Most Recent Blog Comment
Kelly says:
Any news on how it performed on newsstands?...
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