Canadian Magazine Industry News
21 January 2008,     TORONTO
Ontario Out of Doors celebrates its 40th birthday with a makeover

When Matt Nicholls joined Rogers-published Ontario Out of Doors as EIC in April 2006, he wanted to make some major modifications. “It was time to bring it into the 21st century,” Nicholls says.


Ontario Out of Doors is published 10 times a year and has a paid-circulation of 90,000.

For the past year and a half, Nicholls and art director Tamas Pal have been spearheading design and editorial changes to OOD.

Pal elaborated on the design changes in an e-mail. “My goal was to keep the magazine recognizable enough for a generally older, more conservative readership, and give the energy level a nudge so that a younger, more novice audience can also be engaged,” Pal wrote. “I replaced our old, linear “Calvert” slab-serif typeface with Schwartzco’s ‘Stag’ for added style and character. It also had a refined masculinity that I believe suits the new tone of the editorial.
“I also introduced ‘Flama’ (from Village fonts, designed by Mário Feliciano) to the deks and subheads in the front section of the book for a cleaner more modern touch, and replaced the body copy, Baskerville book, with Miller Text, throughout the book.”

As for editorial changes, two new sections have been added, as have more opinionated columns, reader views and polls. The magazine has always been informative, Nicholls says, but didn’t have enough people in it. The new “Browser” section, which carries profiles, features and photos showing readers engaging in outdoor activities, is an attempt to remedy this. It offers a sense of community, Nicholls says, “like a little clubhouse.”

OOD editor-in-chief Matt Nicholls.

A new travel section has also been added, and will be edited by James Smedley, a former contributor and travel columnist.

Former fishing editor Gord Ellis was recently promoted to senior editor. Ellis is based in Thunder Bay, and though it’s a distance from Nicholls’ Toronto office, the editor-in-chief says having staff throughout the province helps improve coverage of the numerous outdoor activities Ontario offers.

The new look will debut in the February 2008 issue, which is also the magazine’s 40th anniversary edition.

“Forty years of a magazine in Canada is pretty special,” Nicholls says.

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