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Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Travel with Style: Does not take you anywhere

What comes to your mind when someone promises you to take for a 'Travel with Style'? Obviously, a stylish and luxurious traveling experience! I also expected the same when I picked up this magazine from newsstand which is launched last month only by Sampan Media Pvt. Ltd. But it wiped out all my expectations from this magazine when I read it thoroughly. 

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!

Starting from the cover, there is no connection of the main visual with the magazine’s personality. Very bad cover story lines and top of that their treatment. Designer has tried all the effects and cluttering he could do… unnecessary and irrational – tilts, outlines, colors, typefaces, serifs-sans serifs, odd leading, placing, alignment of elements, shadows, block behind the text… what not! Worst part is that the word ‘with’ in the masthead of the magazine is placed differently in the second issue only!!

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.

Though, Travel with Style has its tagline of being stylishly different but the way this magazine currently is, it seems funny. To justify its positioning, publishers and editorial team need to think again on editorial structure and accordingly the art team need to put the magazine together to make it sustainable magazine in its genre.

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1 comment:

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