Figure's New Look Goes Heavy on Editorial

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Meredith Corp.'s Figure magazine unveiled a redesign with its August issue featuring a new format, editorial tone and additional departments that are geared to serve the plus-size woman.

Figure is in its fourth year of publication, and this is the title's first redesign.

"Sixty-two percent of the female American population is wearing a size 14 or higher, which classifies them as plus-sized ... you could be 6 feet tall or 5 feet tall and wear that size," said B.J. Towe, editor in chief of Figure, New York.

New sections include articles by nationally known authors, a glimpse at the life and style of plus-sized celebrities and fashion and beauty advice.

Figure has a circulation rate base of 467,000. It costs $3.95 on newsstands, available as well in Fashion Bug, Lane Bryant and Catherine's retail locations. It publishes six times a year. The current subscription offer is $15.65.

Meredith conducted reader surveys and focus groups in preparation for the Figure redesign.

"In reevaluating what Figure magazine was, we thought it was important to listen to the consumer," Ms. Towe said. "And after doing so, we realized that the content could be more relevant. It is about who the women are."

Figure never gives information on dieting, saying that it celebrates the woman for whom she is and that the content aims to be positive and enjoyable.

The revamped magazine contains fewer fashion photos and more editorial content. It also features a new, larger logo.

"We are working hard to create a feeling of community and are inviting women to talk to us and give us feedback," Ms. Towe said. "This is their magazine, and we want to engage them."

The new design also offers more than $40 worth of fashion coupons within the book.

The complementing Web site at www.figuremag.com will undergo changes to coincide with the magazine's new look.

"We want to significantly increase the subscription and newsstand distribution, and I feel confident that we will because the content has been elevated," Ms. Towe said.

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