REAL magazine has a new look. The popular women’s magazine, which saw some growth in last quarter’s ABCs from 57 635 to 59 297, has Connie Ferguson on the cover, demonstrating its fresh appeal. Ferguson, of course, has also taken on a new role in M-Net’s new soapie, The Wild, that launches next month.
Editor Dudu Mvimbi Leshabane, described by Jonathan Harris, GM of the Developing Markets Division of Media24, as having “a remarkable talent for knowing exactly what her readers want, and she delivers each and every time”, explained to TheMediaOnline exactly what she did.
What we did
This is not a redesign but a tweak to a few things, such as fonts, body types, bullets, boxes, page numbers, straps and headers.
The cover has been made fresher with minimal colours and cover lines. More importantly, the features were given a new treatment that will make readers connect with every story in the magazine.
How she did it
After six years, REAL magazine was at a point where it needed a change. We first identified the elements we wanted to change and then commissioned an outside design house to work closely with our designers. The process was hectic, with changes going back and forth until we finally came to an agreement. We did not want to change the book and alienate readers. Throughout the process we kept in mind what they would love to see changed or made better.
How does the new look feed into readers’ aspirations?
Readers aspire to be informed in an entertaining way. Part of the change was to listen to what they want and aspire to. We decided to have designs that are more interactive, informative and easy to follow.
As movers and shakers, readers aspire to a variety of things, such as being their own boss. We’ve added business pages and career pages that empower readers to take action and do something about where they are heading.
What is revolutionary about the redesign?
Design should bring readers closer to their favourite magazine. This design is well balanced and fits in with modern design trends. It is sophisticated, fresh, cutting edge and easy to read. It complements content and, most importantly, does not depart from the brand essence.
What does she want to achieve with it?
To grow a brand that seeks to empower black women in their journey to advancement. I also want to take circulation and readership to a higher level.
What readers will find in the new-look magazine
Readers, old and new, should look out for some exciting new developments in the April issue that talk to the revitalised magazine’s offering.
– There is a a business page, full of tips, such as getting your own business off the ground, and Q& A sections with industry experts.
– The magazine includes has a fashion section which will show readers how to dress to impress, as well as showcase the works of talented local designers. The monthly reader makeover will feature one of REAL’s very own readers who will undergo their own personal transformation.
– The food pages have been increased to include inspirational recipes that will appeal to the whole family, everyday treats and healthy advice with step-by-step guides on how to achieve them.