Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Sunday, March 08, 2015
We have gone thorough more than 350 magazines published in India in English or Hindi language during the month of January. Magazines were considered from all the genres including News, Business, General Interest, Lifestyle, Men’s, Women’s, Fashion, Home, Entertainment, Technology, Culture, Children, Arts, Travel, Parenting, Health and Hobbies.
|NEWSSTAND COVER ANALYSIS |
Monday, February 09, 2015
Look at all the covers in less than 8 minutes -
To watch the same video in High Resolution, click the link - TOP 100 COVERS
Monday, October 14, 2013
It is also mentioned in the TWU’s tag line that it focuses on consumer durables, IT and ITES segment. It contains all the advertorials and promotional features in the form of editorial pages. For a (consumer) reader, it serves its good purpose as it helps him to know about the product, the technology, the concept, the usage, the application of any featured product.
After a long time I have gone through a magazine which has a good design in terms of creativity and discipline. As it was necessary for this kind of genre, it has got lots of design elements in the magazine. Every page has some fix and variable elements but everything seems placed thoughtfully and in the discipline. Hence, entire magazine when you flip through cover to cover, it looks beautiful and create interest to read it.
As most of the content is promotional features and are sponsored material, it could be justified only if they were printed well. In order to achieve this it is taken care brilliantly and printing is come up very impressive. Images are perfectly sharp, clear and skin colors are just perfect. It has got detailing in almost every photograph so all I can say that pre-press and press has done their job well.
Again, since it has lots of sponsored material, to make it look better, it has got good quality of thick paper for inside pages and even thicker page for the cover which is then laminated to give it a richer look. Monthly issue of 52 pages is priced at Rs50 which if you look at its product quality and the reasonably good content, it seems pretty fine. Even it has made of higher GSM paper, but it has 48 pages only plus 4 pages of cover, that is not sufficient enough to make it as a perfect bound magazine with a spine, hence it is centre-pinned product which does not feel bad in slightly tall in size. Because of condense presentation, it looks quite content heavy but it should have more pages to accommodate more articles to feed a reader as a monthly periodical.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
GL is a vaguely structured magazine which tries to feed its reader every taste from the kitchen. It covers health, beauty, travel, fashion, interior, portfolio, spaces, jewellery, shopping, celeb-talk, wedding, gifts, parties, cooking, art… everything in just in one issue. If you start browsing magazine from cover to cover in just one sitting, you will be kept hopping in various topics of life... (Oh, I forgot that it claims to cover lifestyle also).
Articles are structured as they were originally typed by authors in Word or Notepad and then they are laid out on the pages in the same formatting… including bullets! There is nothing in the name of design, just random placing of images on pages and the text running around... that’s it.
Not a single image is printed its original color. Reason might be simple that all the images which are used in the magazine are stock images or might be taken from the web. Mostly photographs are having non-Indian faces and printed in pink or reddish color tone…some images are having white color of skin, some are cyan heavy. Poor prepress work and image correction caused this bad printing. Registration is ok and there is no fringing on any page.
GL is a bi-monthly and is priced at Rs50. Issue has around 100 pages from cover to cover. Looking at the price, the size is fine but the content quality is not such that you should spend even that on this magazine. It is printed on fairly good paper but ultimately a reader buys a magazine for its content not for the page quality only. It is perfectly bound magazine with a spine with a decent thick cover.
Wednesday, October 09, 2013
As it is in the travel vertical, there are good numbers of national and international titles are already there on newsstands for the targeted Indian reader, you should be very-very clear and perfect about what you are presenting. TWS, which has a lag line - Stylishly Different... actually is very different from what you expect from the title… and that disappoints.
As I have mentioned earlier, it should have a clear focus on the content structure to create its own niche in this already saturated vertical, it has no idea where to head. In the name of luxury-style and travel, it has tried to pack everything from the world in one magazine. Result? - a lost and badly structured magazine.
It has a very weak and shallow FOB which has some nonsense news from the globe. Then it starts with health (?), some random questions from a celebrity on travel, then some pages on luxury cars, then a coverage of India Bridal Fashion week (?), a story on wildlife trip, then again Fitness, then some senseless interview, then one trip for South Australia and another for Delhi - back to back, one article on Armani products line, feature on some random photographer, shopping in Mumbai and eating in Italy... phew!
Clearly there is no editorial direction and have no clue of maintaining the flow of content presentation that is required for a good magazine. They don't have any idea what their reader wants to read. All the articles are appearing as if they are coming from several different magazines instead of looking from one single magazine. Most of the articles don't have any structure... they just start right from the headline and finish at the end. Copy desk work is also an average, not impressive. Paid features also laid out in editorial content style hence, there is not any difference between both.
Very poor in the class... especially when your magazine belongs to such a lively genre where there are no limits for the creativity. Magazine page areas on some pages are going beyond the folio…!! The designers have not followed even simple and basic rules of page layout for a magazine. Every single page and stories are just a - jugaad!
Inside pages are also badly layout. When you are reading a magazine from such a lively genre, you have some expectations of standard and class from it. Main body copy fonts are so dull and varying columns widths and gutters are changed as per the requirement (mood). There is no consistency in headlines and other design elements like, info boxes, tables, infographics. As the result, you don’t feel a ‘wow’ factor while browsing pages of TWS.
Prepress work is also not impressive. Some images are good but some are printed in weird colors. On many pages, even the skin color is not produced properly. Except of few pages where registration is shaken a bit, rest of the pages are printed well.
Although 84 pages of content for a monthly magazine seems very less to read, but a good quality of inside pages and good paper used for the cover and a perfect binding gives a great look to this magazine. I wish it was presented well in terms of design and photographs; it would have been worth of its cover price which is Rs100. And the segment of audience this magazine is targeting is, does expect a great quality and a rich product to read.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
I find its content is badly structured... even editor seems forgot what needs to put where, things are put randomly without any discipline.
Immediately after editorial, a historical infographics starts abruptly, without any section opener or any introduction! It is designed so badly that it looks out of the magazine. This is the only article in entire magazine that has colored background and has gone into bleed.
For the convenience again, books are not reviewed but excerpts are published to fill up the pages - not just 2-3 pages but all 8 pages.
Countless Inconsistencies! No design guide lines! Even the leading is different for photo captions on two facing pages - Foreword & Editorial. Poor photography... though it is hardly there in the magazine, except a few mug shots. And most of the photographs, arts, illustrations are downloaded from the web.
No rules are followed for the columns width and height, every column is stretched sideways and downwards as per the convenience. Infographics are good but looks alien to this magazine... and they are too many in the magazine.
Too many fonts used without any rationale. Images are used to fill the places and that is why there is no symmetry in images, they are starting from anywhere and ending at anywhere on the page layout. I agree that blurbs and quotes are used often as fillers but here they are placed inconsistently.
Poor illustration! Not at all a news stand friendly cover!!
After going through the launch issue, I felt that it was a wrong selection of cover story (it is like a magazine is made for technology enthusiasts and cover story is ‘what is technology’ OR a magazine is for chefs and cover story is ‘what is cooking’)
8 (eight) case studies, which could be the selling point or powerful hook for this issue, is placed in the corner as last item! PLUS word suits well when you have already put a good number of stories and then you offer it as an EXTRA, here only one story is given and then PLUS comes :)
While in entire magazine, nowhere Serif font is used, why only Mast head is in serif?? Mast head is also not aligned. It is going towards the right hand side, entire design is right heavy.
Secondary stories are having text in smaller font size than inside body text!! And, these three stories are not having consistency in presentation. QR code looks like a part of illustration and is not aligned properly.
Date line is not aligned properly. Date line has an alien character which has nothing got to do with the subject of the magazine nor it is used anywhere in inside pages again. Designer has used slash and double slashes in the slugs and folio… which could be used here to make a link.
The leading is not properly done… End of Line has the same leading as wrapped line. Also, leading is bigger in top three stories than the bottom stories??
Excellent... everything is perfect. As I mentioned earlier, magazine hardly has photographs but whatever is there are printed good. Except some movie shots which are used in one article, every image is printed fine.
As a quarterly magazine, 104 pages are too less for an Innovative reader, either its periodicity should be increased or its page count. Currently it is priced at Rs100 which is not really high for its TG. It is printed on very good quality of paper and is perfect bound with a thick spine.
Monday, July 30, 2012
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
’Franchise India Publication’, the publisher of various other publications like Estate World, The Franchising World, Retailer and many web portals has recently launched a new magazine- Small Medium Entrepreneur. As name suggests itself that it is to target the small & medium sized businesses & entrepreneurs in the country where couple of other magazines already are there to target the same genre. It is quite common of having many magazines from same genre with very similar or resembling titles but at least their treatment should be different if you want to create your own identity. Here, ‘Small Medium Entrepreneur’ is carrying the words ‘Small Medium’ in very small size but the word ‘Entrepreneur’ is kept very large on the cover that resembles very closely to another magazine from same genre. It seems that it is done deliberately to ride upon other established magazine’s credibility.
It would have been better if this magazine was launched in Hindi language, at least in that way it could have its own unique proposition and untapped audience too.
The magazine is badly structured editorially and content viz it is very shallow as a monthly periodical. Launch issue is conceptualized without any vision. Biggest mistake is putting such a big story (60 pgs precisely) in the launch issue that occupied more than half portion of the magazine. The story idea itself is good but the issue chosen to carry this story is not right. Launch issue generally works as a sample of a publication which gives a taste to the reader to hook the reader into it. In the launch issue, stories need to be planned to convey the editorial structure to the reader… the structure of this issue should reflect the entire content blue-print of the magazine to the reader so that reader should come back to the newsstand to pick up the next issue.
Launch issue of SME consists of one feature, one profile, one start up story, three guest columns and two-three very generic kind of articles only. Sub-editing & copy desk job is mediocre and there are proofing errors which spoil the mood of reading.
100 Best Small Businesses & Entrepreneurs of the year 2011- cover story of the launch issue is structured badly & presented also very unprofessionally. It’s nothing but a compilation of testimonials taken from various entrepreneurs. ‘Junoon, Jugaad and Luck’ is the centre of the testimonials which I think is a brain child of editor and is enforced upon entrepreneurs to say anything or something on that! And poor entrepreneurs in many cases have replied ridiculous.
The way its editorial structure is not robust, design is also vague. Designer has done blunders at fundamental level of designing a magazine. Body copy typefaces are changing randomly, text is overflowing in the folio area of pages, alignment of body text is changing abruptly, columns widths are floating on almost on every other page, typefaces used in entire magazine are immature.
Looking at the issue, it seems that designer got stuck with one ‘idea’ and applied it at anywhere and everywhere in the magazine. For example, if painting effect was the idea for the cover story, it is unnecessarily applied on group president’s picture also. You cannot find any thought behind any design or layout in entire magazine. Not a single photograph of any of ‘top 100 entrepreneurs’ is put the way it is put full length photograph of group president on his page!
Rest of magazine is designed so badly that you actually don’t need any publishing software to do layout for such pages, same could have done using any word processing software also. Lots of inconsistencies in design, elements, colors and the way things are put or text wrapped around the images across the magazine. Photography is hardly used in the magazine. The images or illustration are taken from web or stocks and those are used here very carelessly. Content lacks info graphics as support.
Logo for the biggest story ‘Top 100…’ is created carelessly. At some places it has background at some places it is used without solid background... at some places it is in different color... at some places it has different size, leading, kerning, treatment...! Copy desk has messed up even with the text used in such a small logo.
Let’s talk about the cover of the inaugural issue. There are many points where I disagree and dislike the cover- editorially as well as design viz.
- profile on Metro shoes is one of many entrepreneurial stories of 4pgs only but it is put as main cover story while there is BIG generic story which is around 60 pgs long but kept it at bottom as if it is just like another story in this issue. It can be annual editorial property of this magazine and it should be treated in that way only.
- Poor visual for the main story as the prop gets camouflaged in the background.
- It seems that editorial team got obsessed with the phrase coined by them- Junoon, Jugaad & Luck… that is why it is unnecessarily attached with main cover story though it has got nothing to do with this particular story.
- Unnecessary usage of free hand writing font, or probably they have thought that these are Hindi words so… ;)
- Unnecessary usage of various colors.
- Photo caption on the cover? Anyway, it is hanging in the air and that too right aligned!
- Badly designed logo for the biggest story of the inaugural issue… unnecessary cluttering in the text- outlines, multiple colors… poor and useless tag line of the logo… poor sub-editing.
- Gradient black behind the Masthead? It could have some other contrast color… as it is cover is having too many colors where they actually are not required.
- Unnecessarily used black strip at the bottom to put the text over it.
Hardly any prepress work was required in this magazine so that part is OK. Whatever photographs are there, are fine and they printed in natural colors. But some product shots have lost details because they are too dark. Printing itself is good and has come up with perfect registration.
Printing could have come up better if it was printed on better quality paper. Inaugural issue of SME consists of 114 pages. Paper quality of inside pages is average but the cover is fine as it should be. It has a perfect bound spine but not utilized sensibly. Cover price of the magazine is Rs.75 at news stand.
The domain, small business and entrepreneurs, has lots of scope for relevant information and exchange through various mediums including printed magazine. That is why couple of magazines are already there in the market and doing good. But, it needs serious and insightful content and requires a professional level presentation to create its own mindshare for a new magazine. Small Medium Entrepreneur, the way it is currently, does not impress as a serious business magazine.
For more Indian magazines reviews:
Monday, December 12, 2011
I always see ‘Popular Science’ magazine as a periodical that explains the reality of this scientific universe in simple language to a common and a layman where he lives. It covers every aspect science and technology that touches our day-to-day life and may affect our future. It brings science from scientists’ laboratories to the layman’s level understanding of complicated facts & principles and that is why I prefer to call it ‘People Science’ magazine.
The most authoritative & leading source of latest science & technology world – ‘Popular Science’ was launched in 1872 in America as a monthly magazine. Since then, after the launches of around in 30 languages in more than 45 countries, it is now launched in India by Next Gen Publishing (also the publishers of Smart Photography, Car, Bike, The Ideal Home & Garden, Mother & Baby, Computer Active, Commercial Vehicle etc).
Its topic is such that it really does not require be localized and that is why Indian edition has almost entire content from its parental publication only. Hence, no complaints till the time it is relevant for its targeted readers. Structure of magazine does not come across the magazine as clear as it appears on contents pages. The section – What’ s New, looks little weird here in this magazine as the entire magazine is already positioned as latest & updated resource of innovations in the scientific world. Features are very informative and supported with facts & figures that makes an article very interesting to read.
Since it is targeting a common man who wants to know about the world, the language of articles is kept simple & jargon free to make the subject easily understandable. Though, I find inconsistencies in structure of articles the way they are written and that makes some articles disinteresting. Overall, the entire magazine is very informative and anyone can enjoy reading it. Yes, I feel that the content falls short looking at its monthly periodicity.
Since whole content published here in Indian edition is from its US edition, the only part is left to do here is design & layout the pages… and in many cases even that is kept same. Still, there are many inconsistencies and loop holes left in design. Considering it a general interest magazine and keeping the subject in mind it really needed to be a lively and vibrant in appeal. This is what the designers have tried to make it but when there are so many things or so many design elements are introduced in one magazine, it becomes big challenge to handle them and it should be handled extremely carefully and consistently.
Cover of the launch issue itself looks little imbalance and has lacking in proof reading. The cover of Indian edition does not match with the grid of its parental edition. Without enough numbers of cover stories, the issue looks very shallow in terms of content. Subject of this magazine is such that it requires lots of stories in every issue to justify its worth. Yes, its masthead in fluorescent color is coming out very well and pops up in the magazines’ crowd at newsstand.
Layout of ‘Contents pages’ looks as if randomly done and has no consistency. Same sort of inconsistency is there in the presentation of section openers. Image boxes, those are used in the top band, are absolutely useless and could be used in better way. As I have mentioned that too many elements means, too much care and too much precision is required… and this is the area where this magazine has problems and needs to have check points.
Info graphs & illustrations are very impressive and informative except one or two places which look out of place here in this magazine. Photographs are also excellent and handled very well in layout the pages. Again at some pages some goofs occurred which I am sure, will not happen in other issues.
Prepress work is fine as images are looking great. Photographs are appeared in almost natural colors and are looking good. The only problem is that it is printed at low density and that’s why pictures are not smooth but showing pixels. Otherwise, issue is printed well with perfect registration. Colors are also come out appropriate except a few pages where some particular ink is appearing heavy. Again, I hope that will be taken care in next issues.
Inaugural issue of Popular Science consists of 100 pages. Paper quality of inside pages and the cover is just perfect as it should be. Though it has a perfect bound spine still it looks very thin and gives a feel that it has very less to read. I think that it should have two more forms to justify its newsstand cover price of Rs.100.
Since it is not a hardcore science journal but is an interesting source for the mass – a common educated man, it carries lots of features, facts, insightful articles in a descent manner and at an affordable price. This is the magazine which you can read and enjoy when you are travelling or you are sipping your evening tea.
For more Indian magazine reviews: