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Ladies’ Home Journal spices up its look

To celebrate its 125th anniversary, Ladies’ Home Journal has redesigned and added new editorial sections.

The monthly glossy debuts its new look in the February 2008 issue. Typefaces, photographs and illustrations have all been updated for what editor-in-chief Diane Salvatore called a more “sophisticated” look, with, “a touch of swagger and a jolt of dynamism.”

“We liked the idea of having our most modern look during the year that we are celebrating our 125th anniversary,” Salvatore continued. “We consider ourselves to be an aesthetic leader in the women’s service category, and we wanted to continue to stay ahead of the curve. We see also from reader response surveys that our 13 million readers love LHJ for being a smart and substantial read, and we wanted to make sure that our design was as sophisticated as the writing and content.”

As part of the change, the magazine will use black type almost exclusively and will high-light the upgraded photographic elements with more prominent frames on each page. Salvatore believes that the bolder look will help LHJ’s newsstand sales, which make up approximately 9% of total circulation. The magazine is also doing a publicity push to up circulation for the redesign.

LHJ executives don’t foresee the redesign having a large effect on advertisers, who target the magazine’s core audience of family-oriented, baby-boomer women. Food and beverage is the largest advertiser category, followed by healthcare and toiletries and cosmetics.

“From the advertising side, the plans going forward are to continue to present the redesign to current, as well as prospective clients in the Beauty, Automotive, Fashion and Technology categories,” said Julie Pinkwater, VP and publisher of LHJ. “With our new look, consistent architecture and broad national coverage, we are positioning LHJ as seven niche publications with major national coverage.  The advertiser benefit is that they get a focused, beautiful environment that far surpasses the vertical titles in reach and national coverage.”

New editorial sections include Medical Mystery, Anatomy of a Splurge and Can This Recipe Be Saved? In addition, two pages in each issue this year will be dedicated to the magazine’s history.

“Our readers, psychographically, are women who want to have as rich an emotional inner life as possible,” said Salvatore of the new sections. “They also are very proactive medical consumers, and very much want to be educated about pressing social issues of the day that may affect their family and their nation — especially if they can be involved in a solution.”

LHJ, published by Meredith Corporation, has a circulation of 3.8 million. Its companion Web site, lhj.com, reports 1.8 million unique visitors per month.

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