Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

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Yoga Journal (www.yogajournal.com)

Issue reviewed: November 2010, Issue 233

  • Published in San Francisco, Calif., by Cruz Bay Publishing Inc./Active Interest Media
  • Circulation: 350,000
  • 120 pages, perfect bound

Audience

  • average HHI: $84,120
  • yoga practitioners

Editorial

Yoga Journal gives the appearance of being very basic material that anyone who has taken a single yoga class, or who has some appreciation for the practice, could jump right into and “get” immediately. But it is not light reading. Once the reader reaches the features, about halfway through the book, the stories stretch for 6 to 7 pages each, and the content assumes the reader has a thorough enough knowledge to skip defining such concepts as samsara and asana. And the magazine does not focus on how to do the newest, coolest pose — very little of the content focuses on poses. The yogic lifestyle is the overriding force — the thoughts, behaviors, diets, spirituality, medicinal and physical aspects of the lifestyle are discussed in-depth.

Design

Yoga Journal has pleasing colors throughout and makes good use of white space. Some of the elements in the magazine are really fresh — such as the parenthesis around deck heads. Some others, like the thought balloons, dotted lines and double lines, are less original but still appealing. The photography is diverse and interesting: The shots of yoga poses are artistic, and the food photography is very well done (and very appetizing!).

What’s Best

  • Editor’s Note: Although editor Kaitlin Quistgaard doesn’t let the reader learn about Ms. Quistgaard at all, she does do a good job of shaping the theme of the November issue in the editor’s letter, Reality Show. She previews three of the articles in the issue and ties them all together — that yoga helps its practitioners better see and accept the truths at hand.
  • Ayurveda: This section in the shorts department, Om, is made up of two single pages addressing Ayurveda (the science of life) — how to take care of your skin based on what type you are (fire, earth, water, air). It’s a beautiful layout of products, displayed like meals and accented with flora. It’s a unique approach to what amounts to a short product guide.
  • Web integration: Throughout the magazine are references to bonus material on Yoga Journal’s website — and it has tons of extra content in the form of photos, videos, articles and blogs. The website is a great companion to the magazine, and is strong enough to stand completely on its own for someone who doesn’t have a subscription and is just getting started and needs a primer.

What’s Worst

  • Cover: The left-hand side of the cover features a strip that breaks the flow of the nice colors and attractive type to include a monotonous list of subjects covered, such as health, fitness and food. It adds nothing and instead takes up valuable real estate.
  • YogaJournal.com page: This page doesn’t seem to have been designed by the same designers for the rest of the magazine. Whereas white space is tastefully used on the rest of the pages, this single page looks too sparse, like something is missing.

Overall Opinion

Yoga Journal was a nice surprise. The editorial content was full of variety and addressed multiple topics of interest to yogis. The integration of sidebars and short how-tos into feature stories was well-done and keeps the reader’s brain working from cover to sign-off. For its depth and breadth, I give Yoga Journal an A.

I invite your comments! Check out the magazine or its website and tell me what you think of it.

–Tyler Reed

Editor, The Sidebar Review

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Sailing World (www.sailingworld.com)

Issue reviewed: October 2010

  • Published in Middletown, R.I., by Bonnier Corp.
  • Circulation: 40,000

Audience

  • experienced sailors, with about 25 years under their belt
  • average HHI: $282,000
  • own 3.2 boats, on average
  • 93% male
  • average age: 54

Overall Editorial

Sailing World is an easy read, and although it’s geared toward super-experienced, rich sailors, it doesn’t feel inaccessible to readers well outside its audience, like me. It has multiple short reads with a few long features. It’s a blend of product reviews, how-tos, competition coverage and human interest.

Overall Design

The design of Sailing World is very simple with a few standout elements. The end-of-story dingbats are really cool (two small sails in black and gray), and one little arrow in a burgundy circle keeps showing up that adds consistency throughout. Also, a box with a plus sign appears in several places from front to back offering bonus content to the reader, either on the Sailing World website or in books for further reading. The best design is in the department From The Experts: Technique with a step-by-step how-to that’s very appealing. The worst is on the opener of the feature On Full Boil, where the title gets lost in the extremely busy photo.

Cover Design and Blurbs

The cover is attractive and appealing, but it appears to be very feminine for a magazine that has an audience that’s only 7% women. And I don’t say that because it’s a woman on the cover but because the fonts and color choices seem very delicate. The reader only has three choices for content that interests him or her: one spot about Gold Diggers (Olympic sailors), one about the pro circuit and another about new boats.

Editor’s Note

The Editor’s Letter, Calling In Sick, written by Dave Reed, is lovely. It appeals to avid sailors, working people and procrastinators alike. Reed explains his inspiration for the first Sailing World Sick Day, in which all the employees take off and go sailing. I love that he presented the argument against it, which was submitted by a reader who was angry about the social irresponsibility of the free day. Then he told what a great time he had and how he’d checked back into the office later, with salt and water remnants still on him. It adds personality to the magazine, just like an editor’s note should, and it shows that the staff members love the sport the same way the readers do.

Departments and Columns

It’s clever that the editors break one department, From The Experts, into three sections: Technique, Strategy and Rules. Readers of recreational magazines like this love how-tos, and I think that division is a smart way to include several different types of how-to information. The back department is called Dr. Crash, and it’s strange, but it’s likely that it’s right up the readers’ alley. It’s one short question with one short answer and a humorous slant. Dr. Crash has become quite the personality, apparently, because the powers that be have created the Dr. Crash calendar that readers can order for only $13.95.

Features

The three features benefit from strong writing: excellent use of storytelling, expressive verbs and vivid detail. The writers for Sailing World obviously understand the sport and its players, and are skilled authors to boot.

Use of Photography

The photography throughout is very good, and the designers take care to use the photos large when warranted. There are only a couple of missteps: The photo spread opener on pages 30-31 for On Full Boil is so busy that I can’t even tell what’s going on. This particular photo would have benefitted from no words (headline or body copy) interfering because they complicate the photo. And the other misstep probably annoyed the editors and designers alike: On page 51, the Sailing World staff has to depend on manufacturers to submit quality photos of their products, and one group (The Landing School) didn’t send a photo that measured up. Such is life, but it sticks out like a sore thumb. But all the other photos are beautiful and make me want to head to the ocean.

Use of Illustrations

The folks at Sailing World use illustrations sparingly but well. One is a how-to illustration that’s computer generated, and the other is a a hand-drawn illustration that helps bring the reader into the story. Both are strong and well-placed.

Relevance to Intended Audience

This magazine hits avid sailors from multiple angles: competition, gear, how-to and narrative. If I owned 3.2 boats and made $282,000 per year, I imagine I would really enjoy this magazine. Even as a non-sailor, I enjoyed reading it from beginning to end.

Integration with Website

The right-hand folio on each spread lists the Sailing World web address, related content on the website gets a full spread in the magazine, and multiple mentions of bonus material on the website appear throughout. These guys do a good job of driving readers to the website. A lot of the online content is behind a subscriber wall. The website is sparse and clean, like the magazine is. The site has multiple blogs, forums, photos and videos for its visitors.

Flow, Story Hierarchy

Sailing World is well-organized front to back. It begins with the smaller pieces, including reader letters, Q&A and competition rankings. It moves into features, all clumped together toward the center. Then all the products are grouped together, followed by how-to articles. It feels pretty easy to get around.

Paper Quality

This magazine is pretty small, only 72 pages plus covers (saddle-stitch) for such a rich audience. It seems like it should be much thicker; maybe most of its issues are bulkier than this one. It definitely doesn’t seem like this would be an audience advertisers would shy away from because of the readers’ affluence.

Overall Opinion

Sailing World was a nice surprise. I’d never looked at one before, so it was all new to me. The tone was very good, set by the editor’s note in the very beginning. The design was appealing, and the multiple opportunities for bonus content give the reader much more than just what’s between the covers. For these reasons, I give Sailing World an A.

I invite your comments! Check out the magazine or its website and tell me what you think of it.

–Tyler Reed

Editor, The Sidebar Review

Forbes recently unveiled a redesign, one that its leader called a “re-architecture” of the magazine and the website. One of the main changes Forbes points out is the addition of reader commentary in the margins of stories in order to add more voices to the magazine. What struck me the most of the new design was the use of white space and the stripping out of color. The redesign issue also happened to be the special Forbes 400 edition, so some, if any, of the changes may only be part of this current issue.

So, here goes! In all photos, the older issue (Sept. 27, 2010) is on the left, and the redesign issue (Oct. 11, 2010) is on the right. You can click on any photo to make it larger. Each section below is ruled a Fail, Pass or Win.

Cover

Forbes fills its cover with big personalities — both before and after the redesign. Forbes makes its readers feel important because they get to read intimate portraits of important people. Nothing on the cover indicates that this is a redesign issue, but that’s really problematic to say because the Forbes 400 issue is also a special issue and gets different treatment. We’ll have to wait until the next issue comes out to determine that. Regardless, I give it a pass because newsstand magazines like this one take great care to appeal to the newsstand crowd, so I’m sure the powers that be know what they’re doing here.

Cover Ruling: Pass

Contents

The contents pages are the first place the reader can start to see a shift in the design, to a more retro, almost newspaper look. The harsh reds and large photos from the previous contents are gone; subdued colors and an abundance of lines are introduced here. The new fonts are very pleasing; the titles stand out, and the designers use a lot of white space on the two pages of contents.

Contents Ruling: Win

Editor’s Note

The Editor’s Note, like the contents and like all the departments after it, showcase the new use of white space, margins and black-white-sepia tones. Steve Forbes goes from being the columnist (shoved up tightly in the corner) to being the main visual. No other photos appear on his two-page column, and the playfulness is removed from the second page on which restaurants to visit. The previous “playfulness” was color, which was stripped away by the designers. It’s almost like this new version is saying, “We don’t have time for silliness. We’re here to work.” If you don’t like the look that’s in the contents and editor’s note, you won’t like the rest of the magazine. It borders on plain, but it’s also more sophisticated, less busy.

Editor’s Note Ruling: Win

Departments

Entrepreneurs is another section in which the move away from color and toward white space is obvious. Some of the design elements are so subtle (for instance, the double lines above and below the section head, the dots coming from each side of the section head) that they make the pages feel elegant, even though stripping the color out seems like it would make the pages drab. Even the folios are simpler and more succinct.

Departments Ruling: Win

Back Page

On the pre-redesign Thoughts page, the quotes just flowed, one into another, with nothing driving the reader to each one. I imagine many readers scan just to see if there are any names they’re interested in. If not, they read the first item or the one just under the photo and then close the book. In the redesign, though, the page draws the reader in on each item because all the quotes have something distinct — type size, leading, color, length. Fewer quotes are on the page, but each is markedly more readable.

Back Page Ruling: Win

Feature from Before the Redesign

Overall

Forbes is made up of big personalities — untouchable by the masses, but brought to you, the reader, courtesy of the Forbes brand. In the previous design (see photo), President Barack Obama was the lead story. In the new design, it was Warren Buffett and Jay-Z. The subjects didn’t change with the redesign; only a bit of the presentation. The change was subtle but pleasant, retro but current, simple but sophisticated.

Overall Ruling: Win

Have you seen the new Forbes? What do you think? This redesign has gotten a lot of attention: You can read an interview with Lewis D’Vorkin, who led the redesign, with Talking Biz News, a preview of it in Business Insider, or the announcement about it on Forbes.com.

Flight Training is an association magazine that I had not heard of before my new blogging friend, flyinggma, recommended it for a redesign review. Here are a few of her comments about it:

  • “I’ve tried to read the new magazine but it just doesn’t hold my attention.”
  • “In the old format the regular contributor pages had a photo border that helped identify their page easily as well as color photo of the author.  Somehow that made me feel more connected to them and what they were saying.”
  • “I think the content is comparable to the old just more work to get interested.”

So, here goes! In all photos, the older format (July 2009) is on the left, and the redesigned format (July 2010) is on the right. You can click on any photo to make it larger. Each section below is ruled a Fail, Pass or Win.

Cover

The new cover is sleeker and more pulled together. The new nameplate definitely helps: The old nameplate is clunky and dated, while the new one seems sporty and clean. Overall, the fonts are cleaner, and the bigger differences in type size and style allow the reader to more easily spot items of interest.

Cover Ruling: Win

Contents

The folks at Flight Training shifted from a single page contents to two pages, giving the features articles their own page. This change allows the contents to host more photos and more reasons for readers to turn the pages to the articles that intrigue them the most. A pullquote on the opening page of the new contents (on the green background) is more enticement for the readers to check out that story.

Contents Ruling: Win

Editor’s Note

In general, throughout the magazine, the redesign stripped away loads of color and opted instead for spot color. In the case of the editor’s note, as in every department, the strange prism of color that once banded the top left corner is gone in favor of a black strip, an updated font and a twist upward added in a color that matches the tagline. The editor’s note, called President’s Perspective and written by Craig Fuller, is now shorter (about 500 words vs. the previous 800) and is contained on 2/3 page instead of a full page. It looks more mature, more masculine and more readable.

Editor’s Note Ruling: Win

Departments

The best part of the new redesign is the intro spread to Training Notes & News. Whereas before, Training Notes & News started right off into news and short articles, the new design introduces a beautiful photo (offered as a download on the website) as the precursor to the news and notes. The editors also renamed the section Preflight, the name of a column that didn’t make it into the new redesign. (Instead, the former columnist writes a long caption for the downloadable photo.)

Departments Ruling: Win

 

Before Redesign

 

 

After Redesign

 

Features

White space is a wonderful design element, and it appears that the designers are making better use of it in the new design. The features are not markedly different, though. Inside the features, the sidebars tend to go on a background that is too dark, with reversed-out type too small to stand up to it.

Features Ruling: Pass

Back Page

The final page transitioned from Why We Fly to Debrief: A Pilot’s Perspective. The concept is the same, but the treatment is different. (And although the redesign shown here is a celebrity, it is not always a celebrity on this page.) The chunked-up copy is much more appealing, but like in the features, the thin, reversed-out type on a dark background is difficult to read.

Back Page Ruling: Pass

Overall

This redesign was good, but not because the new design is so amazing; it’s because the old design was really unfortunate. Flight Training was definitely in need of an overhaul, and this was a good freshening up. However, while I appreciate consistency, the new design standardized so many sections that many of them look the same. Very few pages stand out from front to back in this magazine, and it might be worth the editors’ and designers’ time to figure out which pieces should remain. There are a few too many columns in Flight Training; commentary is important in an association magazine, but maybe some of the commentary should be presented differently so that there’s not such a feeling of sameness throughout.

The editors should also worry about comments like these from its readers: “I’m far from any kind of expert on reviewing magazines. I just know that the first time I picked up the new format it just didn’t feel right to me,” said FlyingGma. More important than any kind of critique like mine or technical observations from designers/editors is the feeling of connection by the reader. I saw in the June 2010 issue that Flight Training’s staff has reached out to readers and solicited feedback about the new design. I hope they find the perfect balance of design and reader contentment.

Overall Ruling: Pass

Have you seen the new design of Flight Training? What do you think? Another blog, My Flight Blog, had something to say about the redesign, too, if you’d like to read more on the subject.

Excerpt from Jill Herzig’s editor’s note, October 2010 issue of Redbook:

“Have you ever arrived home after making what you think is a major beauty change … only to have your husband look straight at you, open a beer, and notice nothing? In this way, husbands and magazine readers can be similar. … We editors think we’ve rocked our pages with some momentous transformation, but readers often take a look and shrug.”

Dear Mrs. Herzig, I am here for you.

I too have been on the editing end of a redesign and heard very little from our readers. I feel your pain. I am here to save you. I will show you that I paid attention to Redbook’s redesign. Below, you will see that I broke it down, section by section, with highlights and lowlights of the transformation. (I live for this!)

So, here goes! In all photos, the prior issue (September) is on the left, and the redesign issue (October) is on the right. You can click on any photo to make it larger. Each section below is ruled a Fail, Pass or Win.

Cover

Fonts, colors and styles are the same from September to October. The only difference I detected was the removal of “Love Your Life” from Redbook’s nameplate. It was actually removed throughout the magazine, from the cover to the spine to the masthead. I wonder … should we stop loving our lives? Or was loving our lives just a phase that we were meant to work through, and now we’re on the other side? Either way, it appears the powers that be added this phrase in its redesign in 2007 and is taking it away now. I’m positive this makes Jezebel happy. (If you don’t mind harsh language and super-tacky commentary, read Jezebel’s diatribe about Redbook adding this phrase in 2007 here.)

If Herzig and staff wanted to get comments from readers on the redesign, they should have done something new with the cover. It’s only an OCD like me who would notice the “Live Your Life” removal; the cover would have been a great opportunity to kick off the big change and guarantee notice by more readers. However, the newsstand is a fragile animal, and if Redbook’s staff members felt that their combination was magical as it was, then I get it.

The cover was good before and it’s good now. But it definitely does not signal a major redesign.

Cover Ruling: Pass

Contents

Redbook condensed its contents from 2 2/3 pages to 2 pages. The emphasis is now off the article titles and on the page numbers, which makes it hard to find articles that are of interest to reader — it’s more work to go through the contents. The font is harder to read in the redesign, too, from the section names to the article titles. It’s so much work, in fact, to get through these contents pages, that many readers will just skip it and opt to flip around until they find what they want.

Contents Ruling: Fail

Editor’s Note

The new design brings the poor editor out of a hidden corner of a page to her own page with a few accessories added (in this case, they’re Insider Secrets). The photo is light-years better (I think the original photo was taken in 1982), and the design is open, welcoming and eye-catching.

Editor’s Note Ruling: Win

Departments

Lots of magazines say they “re-imagined” their issue in a redesign. Most don’t really. It’s not a safe strategy to re-imagine too much because you might alienate your readers. It remains to be seen if Redbook will alienate its readers because its sections have completely changed. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Old: Style Scoop; Your Love Life; Body & Mind; Making It Work; Living; Downtime
  • New: Beauty & Health; Men, Love & Family; Make It Work; What To Wear; Features; Good To Eat

The Good To Eat section is completely new; the old magazine included a couple of recipes, but not a cooking/dining section. The opening short-item department, Just In Time, was replaced by Spill Vent Gossip Go!, changing the content from quick fixes (cook chicken in 15 minutes, give yourself a makeover) to a more interactive reader polls section.

Departments Ruling: Pass

 

Before Redesign

 

 

After Redesign

 

Features

My familiarity with Redbook is admittedly low, so it’s not easy to judge the features based on these two issues. I don’t know how similar all the previous issues’ cover stories resembled the Julianna Margulies spread, and how similar the upcoming ones will be to the Lauren Graham spread. But the Margulies spread is clearly more dramatic, with only the deckhead on the opener, whereas the Graham spread introduces the first two paragraphs. The inside of the features is the same, though.

Features Ruling: Pass

Overall

The taglines at the top of most pages morphed from feminine and delicate to chunky and edgy. The design overall looks less like it appeals to teenage girls and more like it appeals to women in their late 20 or early 30s. The new food section is appetizing, useful and creative — and now that everyone is a foodie, this section needed to be added. One other great change is the back page: The old version had “I love my ____ life,” where readers filled in the blank. It was a very plain design. The new back page is a spunky, funny chart to help the reader determine, in this case, if she’s “in the mood” enough to go all the way or go to sleep. Here’s the comparison:

There were a lot of good changes throughout, but there wasn’t anything that blew me away. Redbook’s readers will surely be pleased — at least, the ones who notice will!

Overall Ruling: Pass

What do you think? Have you seen the new design? If you’d like to keep reading, check out what two other websites have had to say about it: MediaWeek and MagaScene.

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Time Out Chicago (www.timeoutchicago.com)

Issue reviewed: September 9-15, 2010, Issue 289

  • Published in Chicago, Ill., by Time Out Chicago Partners LLP
  • Circulation: 51,699

Audience

  • median age: 33
  • average HHI: $95,400
  • 70% are single
  • 60% are female
  • goes out three or more times per week

Overall Editorial

Time Out Chicago calls itself an “irreverent, intelligent, insightful roadmap” to Chicago, and its editors say that if you can’t find anything to do in Chicago, it’s not their fault! And I believe them. This magazine blew me away when I flipped through it the first time because of the enormous amount of stuff to do that this magazine listed. And it’s weekly! That means they compile this huge list every single week. I’m amazed by this, mostly because each listing isn’t just a place, address and admission price. Each one is written — real insight, real attitude, real stories. One, for instance, is for Raunchy Bingo: “This isn’t your grandmother’s bingo — unless Granny was a bit smutty.” Another for Dollar Drink Night: “You can … get hammered at this night of karaoke … and cheap-ass cocktails.” Doesn’t Chicago sound fun?

Overall Design

Similar to my feelings about Baltimore Magazine, I am wowed by how Time Out Chicago can cram so much information into these pages and still make it look good. It doesn’t look like the classifieds section of a paper like you might expect. Color and illustrations and graphics and ads are spread out through all the listings so no page is too boring. The editors are even kind enough to put a big “FREE” next to every free admission event. The contents page is attractive and to the point, and the page right after it has more copy than maybe any page I’ve ever seen in my life — but it still looks good. Especially if you don’t mind smallish type. Throughout, Time Out Chicago has several simple but nice design elements, such as highlights, speech balloons and tiny sidebars with photos. On the features, the design is overboard. In the features Major Score and Concerto Inferno, the opening photos are weird, busy and distracting. The remaining pages of those features are much more pleasing than the first page.

Cover Design and Blurbs

A smashed violin graces the cover and is definitely intriguing, especially with the huge words Smash Hits. The cover photo is good, but for people like me who get this magazine in the mail (and most people, really, because this magazine is almost entirely subscription), the bottom third of the violin isn’t visible because of the label area. It feels like I’m missing something as the reader, especially because most of the damage to the violin would be in the impact area — at the bottom that is covered. The cover blurbs are good (“Gin Yummy” and “Bear Down”).

Editor’s Note

Aw, no editor’s note! What a shame. I would have loved to hear from Frank Sennett. Instead, he packs the magazine with tons of Chicago voices, from weird comments on the street to reader letters to Chicagoan interviews. That’s all great, but hearing one strong voice from a magazine, even amid dozens of others, sets a tone for the magazine that is invaluable.

Departments and Columns

The best department in this magazine appears on the first few pages: It’s the front section that’s made up of Public Eye (an interview with a random Chicagoan), Speak Up (letters and chats with readers), Heard on the Street (awful little things that people hear on the street, full of irony, humor, perversion and the F word!),The Bean Poll (reader survey, with the Chicago Bean statue as the graphic) and What’s Up With That? (a useful but insane question; in this case, it’s “can I get a DUI for drinking and bicycling?”). It’s all short, snappy, funny and shocking. The rest of the magazine is divided into Eat Out, Shopping & Style and Around Town, with the latter being the bulk of the magazine — 60 pages of stuff to do in Chicago. Everything is a quick read, including numerous reviews of books, movies, clothes and restaurants.

Features

There’s only one feature, made up of two stories and two sidebars about music. The first story, Major Score, is a straight-up Q&A interview with the incoming Chicago Symphony Orchestra music director, and the other, Concerto Inferno, is an article about “new classical” music. Concerto Inferno benefits from good writing, but it is difficult to read because the writing is smushed into two pages so the opening page can be taken up with a really ugly burning white wig. Disappointing, considering the cover — bearing the smashed violin — was directing readers to this story, and they probably passed right by it. The photo is weird, it takes too long to figure out, and it likely sounded much better in the board room than it was executed on paper. Plus, it doesn’t relate to the cover. And the design of Major Score leaves tons of blue chicken-scratch background behind the text, making it difficult to read and almost not worth the effort. It would have been much better on both stories to dedicate more white space to the design and invite the readers in instead of telling them “Never mind, just go on to the next page.”

Use of Photography

Photos are everywhere, all with varying levels of strength and interest. The food photos are generally appetizing throughout. Especially interesting were the plate photographs from the restaurants the writers reviewed. They’re mostly straight-down shots, which is generally not recommended for food photography, but in this case, the photos look more like a series of how-to photos, which let the reader see exactly what an order at these restaurants would look like.

Use of Illustrations

Barring a couple of illustrated treatments to photos, I don’t see any illustrations in this magazine. Photos take care of the business needed.

Relevance to Intended Audience

The snarky tone, super-honest-to-the-point-of-red-face answers to sex questions, and the drinking/dining/shopping focus are perfect for party-hearty 30-somethings in the Chicago area. The magazine offers such a variety of go-and-do possibilities that, seriously, it really isn’t their fault if you can’t find anything to do there.

Integration with Website

The website is just as informative as the magazine. Possibly — just maybe — even more so. The website is arranged by type of entertainment, and then by date. It has several blogs and opinions that don’t appear in the magazine that add value. The magazine sends readers to the website in several sidebars and “for more info” boxes, and plus, it puts the web address at the bottom of every single page.

Flow, Story Hierarchy

The flow is good. Starts small, builds up, then brings the reader back down into a sexual then super-geeky finish. These guys have enough content, though, that I think it would be better to produce a larger feature well. Not being a fan of classical music myself, I was totally bored during the features in the beginning. So I started on a high with the crazy quotes and insane questions, then I had to force myself to read the unattractive features before I got into the interesting stuff again.

Paper Quality

The paper is fine, especially for a weekly. It doesn’t wrinkle much and is easily foldable for if you’re on the go to any of the recommended places. It’s 104 pages plus covers.

Overall Opinion

I teetered on the edge of a B for Time Out Chicago for the lackluster features for the music, but in the end, I decided that Time Out Chicago does enough good to outweigh those few oversights. The tone of the magazine is consistent throughout — irreverent and cool — something that’s hard to achieve with this much content. Time Out Chicago does an excellent job of educating and exciting its audience about what’s going on in the area, and it entertains them while they’re making their plans. For these reasons, I give Time Out Chicago an A.

I invite your comments! Check out the magazine or its website and tell me what you think of it.

–Tyler Reed

Editor, The Sidebar Review

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Baltimore (www.baltimoremagazine.net)

Issue reviewed: October 2010, Vol. 103, Issue 9

  • Published in Baltimore, Md., by Rosebud Entertainment LLC
  • Circulation: about 51,200

Audience

  • average age: 54
  • average HHI: $165,000
  • 63% female
  • Baltimore residents
  • educated, affluent professionals

Overall Editorial

Baltimore Magazine calls itself America’s first city magazine, established in 1907. An honorable distinction, I must say. Where Baltimore Magazine excels is in its conveyance of information; its value is that Baltimoreans will miss activities or restaurants or events or local insight by not getting this magazine. The writing is strong in this magazine; my favorite opener is the following, written by Evan Serpick (following a Ben Franklin quote that beer is proof that God loves us): “It’s 9 p.m. on a Saturday night, and God’s love is flowing fast and furious.”

Overall Design

The color palette in Baltimore Magazine is black, tan/gray and several scaled-back bright colors. They’re not pastels; they’re bright greens, pinks and oranges toned down to reveal a pleasing color. Because there are several repetitive sections (long swaths of pages dedicated to a single topic, such as things to do or places to eat), Baltimore relies on a few design elements that carry over multiple pages and maintain an effortless, pulled-together look. One of those elements is the opener page for It List, Upfront and Local Flavor: full page photo, short info on the beginning page and contents for the section at the bottom. The designers get to have fun in the features section with textured backgrounds, illustrations, icons, setup photography, and super-colorful sidebars, and they do an exceptional job on those pages. In the things-to-do sections, the words remain readable, even on seriously copy-heavy pages.

Cover Design and Blurbs

I have seen better photos of steaks before, but it’s still eye-catching. And while other magazine focus on the-bigger-the-better cover blurbs, Baltimore experiments with multiple type sizes on its cover. Sizzling Steakhouses is in a point size that rivals the nameplate, but the designers made room for a subhead for the title, as well as a cutline for the cover photo. A red button houses more small type, and the freaky Andy Warhol peeking out from the top right of the cover gets even tinier type. This treatment forces the reader to pick up the magazine from the newsstand to read it, increasing its chances of being opened and of turning into a sale. Plus, it looks good.

Editor’s Note

Steve Geppi obviously has a lot going on, and he spends his entire publisher’s note talking about it. It’s all over the place, and a little self-promoting. I don’t mind self-promotion, especially when it’s deserved, and it does sound like Geppi likes to keep his fingers in lots of pots — a new social network he’s created, his own museum in Baltimore, a special exhibit at said museum, and so forth. He only lets the reader into his head a tiny bit when he talks briefly about his fascination with art and Andy Warhol. I’m disappointed that editor Max Weiss doesn’t have a column in the magazine; she does a video blog here that makes me want to read more from her.

Departments and Columns

The It List spans 25 pages (yes, 25 pages!) and covers everything there is to do, see, touch, experience, play or read in Baltimore. It includes a colorful calendar, multiple photos and tons of information. Upfront and Local Flavor are other multiple-page sections set up like It List. Other departments include Community, Hot Shot (local hero-type story), Lifestyle (which actually also ties into the cover feature), Voices (a local person’s story) and Personal Space (home decorating). The magazine ends with Baltimore Grill, an interview with a local food-lover. I do feel it’s my duty, though, to point out the big spelling blunder in the Baltimore Home section. I mean, the word is big and in color, and somehow the extra “c” in eclectic got missed.

Features

The two main features in this issue are the steakhouses (Let Them Eat Steak) and Andy Warhol (Fifteen Minutes and Counting). Both are well designed, and the writing is informative and interesting. I now hope to one day get to Baltimore to try out the tuna tartare at Morton’s or the lobster corn cake at The Oregon Grille.

Use of Photography

This magazine is packed with photos. (A far cry from my recent review of photo-less Commentary!) Every shape and size, every page (almost), and generally very good. A few photos were lacking, like the opening one on the contents page where the light was too hot on the subjects’ left side. But overall, the photos of food were appetizing, of people were intriguing, and of home interiors were stunning.

Use of Illustrations

These guys use a few illustrations, especially in the steakhouse story. They’re good and they fit the look of the magazine. But Baltimore Magazine is much more into photos than it is illustrations.

Relevance to Intended Audience

Baltimoreans probably love this magazine. It has something for everyone who lives there. I imagine a lot of arts events and restaurants get attended because of this magazine.

Integration with Website

The website houses tons of information, just like the magazine. It has features, blogs, videos, a dining section, an arts page, movie reviews and more. And Baltimore is one of those smart magazines that lists its website address as its folio, so page after page after page directs readers to the web.

Flow, Story Hierarchy

The magazine starts off with things to do and ends with even more things to do. On the whole, it’s organized well and topics are pretty easy to find. I don’t like Baltimore Home Magazine being tucked away inside these pages, though. I don’t know the history there — was it a standalone that got folded in? Or is it a section they’re trying to launch into its own magazine? Either way, it feels hidden and strange.

Paper Quality

At 208 pages, plus covers, this is one thick little magazine. It’s heavy with ads, so Baltimore Magazine must have a reputation for building a good following that advertisers see the value in. The paper is rather hardy, but my copy was wrinkled throughout, especially in spots with heavy ink.

Overall Opinion

With 103 years of practice, Baltimore Magazine should be strong, and it is! It celebrates the city and encourages its people to get out and do things, to be involved with their community. That’s how local/regional magazines should be. For the warehouse full of information, for the interesting writing and for the boatload of photos, I give Baltimore Magazine an A.

I invite your comments! Check out the magazine or its website and tell me what you think of it.

–Tyler Reed

Editor, The Sidebar Review

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Commentary (www.commentarymagazine.com)

Issue reviewed: October 2010, Vol. 130, Issue 3

  • Published in New York, N.Y., by Commentary Inc.
  • Circulation: 25,000

Audience

  • thinkers/intellectuals
  • highly educated and influential people
  • activists

Overall Editorial

Commentary is made up of multiple long, thoughtful essays on current political and social issues. It is candy for people who really like news, philosophy and debate. It is death for people who live for photos, adore sidebars and have the attention span of a gnat. The editors of this publication focus all their energy on gathering or writing articles relevant to their audience, and they waste no time with endeavors that supplement said articles.

Overall Design

For a magazine that has no photos (and I mean it: NO photos), it’s not that bad. It’s wordy, obviously, but the designers work well with the typography, making it very readable and breaking up each and every page with a pullquote or large cap. The type throughout is justified, which I usually dislike, but this is a stiff book and stiff type seems to fit it well. I imagine rag right copy would look sloppy in this format. Commentary does use color, though: It’s well-placed and adds visual interest without detracting from the stories.

Cover Design and Blurbs

The cover is some strange pencil-type design with — guess what — words all over it. But it probably speaks right to the people who would read this magazine. It highlights five articles and their authors, including The Mosque Provocation, How States Went Broke and The Global Poverty Paradox. No teasing, no gimmicks, just a straightforward list of what’s contained within. I mention the authors because this magazine, more than any other I’ve encountered, bills its authors as experts. It encourages readers to write in about articles, challenging the experts if desired, and the expert answers the challenges. Commentary’s website calls reading this magazine “[taking] part in the great American discussion,” and by soliciting and answering such feedback, it truly is building a conversation, as well as print can do.

Editor’s Note

In keeping with the rest of the magazine, the editor’s note, How To Provoke, is text on a page, unmarred by photography of any type. It’s written by John Podhoretz, and it addressed the New York City mosque problem, which another writer goes into more detail on later. Podhoretz establishes himself in the beginning as one of this group of intellectuals who read and write this publication. He offers his opinion on the matter at hand and helps draw the reader in, if for no other reason than to read what the other writer wrote about the mosque.

Departments and Columns

Commentary’s only departments are the editor’s note, letters to the editor and a monthly joke, called Enter Laughing. The joke is, er, not really funny. It’s kind of funny, but not really, and it’s a long way from the beginning to the end. What’s funnier is that the editors know it isn’t really funny and they instead solicit exegeses from the readers to explain or interpret the joke. Bizarre. But it’s kind of cool because it’s very “insider”: If you don’t get it, you’re not one of us. I was always told that if you have to explain a joke, you didn’t tell it right … but I guess that’s why I’m not one of them.

Features

The features are smart, thoughtful, philosophical, political, questioning. They are not meant for you to read and accept as they are. They are meant for you to read, contemplate, challenge and choose what you want to believe. If you have a valid argument against the rhetoric, write a letter to the editor. It’s why they dedicate four pages to letters. One feature is fiction: It’s seven pages of a short story to break between the multitude of articles. I’m not sure why they inserted a fiction feature (it must resonate with their audience), but it’s nice to see an appreciation for good writing and good storytelling even in a hard-facts political-debate magazine.

Use of Photography

Ahem….they don’t have any.

Use of Illustrations

The folks at Commentary do add a little color to the publication with a few illustrations. The joke from Enter Laughing gets a political-cartoon-like illustration that’s very cute and almost forces you to stop and read that page. And the cover feature, The Other Existential Threat, has that same penciled illustration from the cover, just at the tops of the pages.

Relevance to Intended Audience

Like I said, I think this magazine is candy for people who like politics and social issues and debate. It doesn’t pretend to be something it isn’t. It is probably just like its audience likes it: no frills, no glitz, no flash, just commentary.

Integration with Website

Commentary doesn’t push readers to its website at all. It’s a shame because it’s got tons of online-only articles there. A lot of the content is blocked and is for subscribers only. Commentary Inc. is a nonprofit organization, so it has to push more for people’s funds than huge magazine publishing houses do.

Flow, Story Hierarchy

Commentary is broken up into categories once its departments/columns are out of the way. It begins with eight feature articles, each five to eight pages long. Next comes the fiction article, then two sections called Politics & Ideas and Culture & Civilization. The articles after the fiction story are markedly shorter, from one to five pages. In other words, Commentary starts with short appetizers, moves into the steak, then more steak, then … seriously … more steak, before you get the potatoes and veggies. Then the reader finishes with multiple small desserts. It would take someone like me an entire month to get through all 84 pages. It is a lot of words.

Paper Quality

Printed on thick, matte pages with stiff covers, Commentary has the feel of a small, softbound textbook. It’s perfect-bound and 84 pages plus covers. It is easy to hold onto for long reads — it bends back easily and doesn’t crinkle up at all.

Overall Opinion

Commentary was all new to me. I’ve never encountered it, and I’m definitely not a part of its target audience. But I can see why people who do make up the elite group of readers would love it. It offers a real forum for serious readers, it is committed to its content, and it doesn’t dumb itself down in order to capture a larger audience. For that, I give it an A.

I invite your comments! Check out the magazine or its website and tell me what you think of it.

–Tyler Reed

Editor, The Sidebar Review

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Sunset (www.sunset.com)

Issue reviewed: October 2010

  • Published in Menlo Park, Calif., by Sunset Publishing Corp.
  • Circulation: 1,138,913

Audience

  • average HHI: $91,829
  • Western U.S. residents
  • outdoorsy, healthy and wealthy

Overall Editorial

I had never looked inside Sunset before, so everything about its innards was new to me. It has a really interesting history, worth checking out here. Sunset started in 1898 and has been through many iterations, including after being dealt a huge blow during the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco. Editorially, it focuses on food, gardening, travel and Western style. It has tons of short copy throughout, packing lots of information into small numbers of words.

Overall Design

The design of Sunset is really enticing. Excellent photos and appealing sidebars are staples throughout this publication, and the fonts and colors are pleasing. It is obvious this magazine’s staff does a lot of planning. The Spices feature is designed around the photography, so the editorial and art folks must have collaborated nicely to put this story together. That’s not always easy, so I appreciate it when I can see that it was achieved.

Cover Design and Blurbs

This issue says fall without “saying” fall. An orange nameplate with a purple background and a hot meal, plated and waiting for you to devour. Chicken and carrots and peppers … it really is beautiful food photography. Blurbs are minimal but sufficient: One dares the reader to open the magazine (Are you drinking a fake pinot?), another gives the reader immediacy (Instant color! For pots, borders, and beds), and still another sends the reader traveling before even getting to the pages (22 quick fall getaways from Sonoma to Sedona).

Editor’s Note

Editor-in-Chief Katie Tamony achieved several things in her editorial, He’ll Be Missed. Mourning the death of former Sunset owner, Bill Lane, Tamony described her friendship with him, gave a brief history of the magazine and added in details about him sure to make some Westerners swoon: horse riding. Tamony also accomplished the “look what’s inside” trick that many editors aim for in their editor’s note, but this one is smart: Below the editor’s note is Katie’s Picks for October, with three pointers to articles inside and online, each with a photo. It truly is a brilliant way to pull readers in without sacrificing valuable editor space and without making the editor’s note sound like a commercial for the magazine.

Departments and Columns

The opening department is called The West At Its Best, and it is four pages of bite-size information about gardening, food, wine and human interest. The rest of this magazine is categorized into features, then Travel, Home & Garden and Food & Wine, each with multiple departments inside these categories. Information throughout is presented in short, readable chunks with enticing design. One example is in Travel: Instead of just listing 10 ways to tour wine country, the editors turned it into a quiz filled with photos and guide information. Another example, called Color In Your Garden, follows with two pages of pot gardening, two of border gardens (with expert commentary) and one colorful page of veggies. The final department of the magazine, View Masters, is a large photo submitted by a reader. Each reader whose photo is chosen for publication wins $100! Nice incentive, and a great way to engage readers.

Features

The feature well is short, and if you’re looking for long, deep articles, you’re looking in the wrong place. Instead, what you’ll find in Sunset is beautiful features that encourage readers to try new things. In the October issue is a feature called Spice. The word count for this eight-page feature is probably around 1,200 words — in other words, photos dominate. But even with so few words, it’s informative and interesting, and I’m sure many readers will study these spices and their accompanying recipes during the upcoming cool months. Three more features follow, done in much the same way: big photos, short information and a call to try something new. I love that the editors took the story Once Upon A Home about a family’s home decor and dedicated an entire spread at the end to teaching the reader how to do a portion of what the featured family did. Sunset makes style, good cooking and smart gardening achievable.

Use of Photography

I want to just put OMG! here. The photography is truly wonderful. There are so many photos in this magazine that you can just get lost in it. The colors throughout are relevant and timely (it’s definitely a fall issue!). No page is untouched by a glamorous shot — even the photos of apples are beyond reproach. In Sunset, the photography is so diverse — from food to destinations to gardens to people to homes … it’s stunning throughout.

Use of Illustrations

The only illustrations are maps and icons. They serve their purpose. The editors know their strength is in photography, which is where they choose instead to focus their energy.

Relevance to Intended Audience

I bet Sunset is to the West what Southern Living is to the South. Iconic, historic, relevant. A must-have. It definitely serves its reader base with things to do/eat/grow in the West, and it focuses on Western ideals of healthy living and outdoor exploring. I found a comment recently on MagaScene where the writer, Emily McMackin, said she would want to have Sunset magazine with her if she was trapped on a deserted island because of “its emphasis on the mind, body and soul. It will teach me everything I need to know to survive on my island–from tips on organic eating and using vegetation to build a shelter to how to truly appreciate and commune with nature.” I see where she’s coming from, and I think those organic leanings resonate with Sunset’s Western audience.

Integration with Website

Splendid. Sunset takes multiple opportunities to direct readers online. Several departments and features tell the reader to go online for more recipes, gardening ideas and travel advice. And the website itself is very much like the magazine: Lots of info, well-designed and diverse in content. Sunset is also active in social media, with blogs, Twitter, Facebook and Flickr, and readers can also set up their own recipe files, saving the recipes they like the best in their own online portfolio.

Flow, Story Hierarchy

Sunset begins with small bites, leads up to features in the middle, then teases the reader with more little chunks through to the end. Sunset doesn’t really define its departments, just its categories. So the flow is all travel, then all gardening, then features (which are a mix of the other categories), then food and wine. Another way the good folks at Sunset could consider working it is keeping all its travel, including features, together; same with gardening and food/wine. Certainly, they have their own reasons for setting it up the way they do, but it seems more common sense to keep all the stories on each topic together.

Paper Quality

Sunset uses thin, glossy pages that show off the photos well. It is perfect-bound, and this particular issue is 120 pages plus covers. I don’t know if it’s always been perfect-bound; at this size, it might be good to go saddle-stitch.

Overall Opinion

Like I said in the beginning, I wasn’t familiar with Sunset before I got this issue. It swept me off my feet and made me wish I was a Westerner! For that, I give it an A. I don’t mean to gush, but for me, it was a very nice surprise. The colors and photos were appetizing, and the editorial content was intriguing. And it makes me realize how much of the U.S. (the West, specifically) I haven’t seen and therefore haven’t fully appreciated. To anyone who hasn’t read Sunset, I encourage you to pick it up next time you’re at the magazine stand and flip through it. I think you’ll agree that it’s worth a look.

I invite your comments! Check out the magazine or its website and tell me what you think of it.

–Tyler Reed

Editor, The Sidebar Review

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The Week (www.theweek.com)

Issue reviewed: September 17, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 481

  • Published in New York, N.Y., by The Week Publications Inc.
  • Circulation: 517,000; 1 million unique views per month online

Audience

  • average age: 51
  • average HHI: $251,800
  • 30% are top management at their companies
  • busy executives and thought leaders

Overall Editorial

The Week is not like any other magazine I’ve encountered. It functions as an aggregator for news content: It sums up what other news outlets or leaders have reported or said and puts them all into one article. This is how The Week describes itself:  “Inspired by the daily briefing created for the U.S. President, The Week distills the best in domestic and international commentary, and the latest developments in business, health, science, technology, the arts, culture, consumer products and travel.” It aims to cut through the media bias and offer multiple outlets’ point of view on various subjects. It has received accolades from the New York Times and BusinessWeek, and its subscriber base has grown quickly. The editorial covers diverse subjects (politics to actresses to book reviews) and has multiple sidebars with short nuggets of information.

Overall Design

This magazine is chock-full of words, and it looks like the designers just have to figure out ways to fit a ton of words on each page, and yet keep the copy at a size easy to read for an 80-year-old. (I don’t think the type size is too large, but with the volume of copy, some pages beg for a smaller point size.) I will say this for the design: It’s consistent throughout. Every page looks like the one before it — black type, pink screens, red boxes, small photos. The design doesn’t differentiate each section, and the photos are only there because it would look too drab without them, rather than because the designers want to play up a page or a feature. This magazine could use a redesign. I found a cover online from 2008 that looked much different, so maybe they’ve had a redesign in the last couple of years. It can remain newsy and content-filled without being drab. “Drab” is a harsh word and I already feel a little guilty saying it. But I feel like this magazine could be incredible instead of just very good if it boosted the look of its pages. Some pages do show innovation with a layout that is full of words, such as the headers on “Best columns” (pages 16 and 52) and “Review of reviews” (page 36).

Cover Design and Blurbs

It appears that the designers put most of their effort into the cover each issue. I’ve looked back at several covers, and they’re beautiful illustrations of news-related concepts. Great ideas, excellent execution. The cover blurbs address the issues on people’s minds: With this issue, that’s the American economy and recent newsmaker Glenn Beck. It helps to have a pretty woman on the cover (Hilary Swank) and an actual action shot of water (yes, action shot of ice cubes dropping into a glass of water). In line with the magazine’s mission to help people save time, it tells you what pages each story is on so you don’t have to go searching. And thank goodness, because this magazine doesn’t have a contents page — absolutely no contents page. Weird.

Editor’s Note

Hidden in a teensy little box on page 7 with no photo or any reason to read the text in this space, the editor’s note lurks like a long footnote. Editor William Falk makes good use of his closet space, tying in a poll about what people want to do with their lives, with what he’d like to do — become a cult leader — which invoked in my mind a picture of the Koran burner, as I assume Falk was trying to do. It’s a short but intriguing commentary, one that had me curious about Mr. Falk. He’s an elusive guy: On the website, his editorials are behind a subscription wall, and once you get there, he has no photo — just a list of his previous editorials. So I googled him and found this interview he did with Mr. Magazine, and it warmed me up to this well-read editor. I wish he had more of a presence in the magazine and online. Adding a face to this brand would really improve it and would likely make people feel more connected to it.

Departments and Columns

The Week is broken into News, Arts, Leisure and Business. Each section is well-chunkified — that is, broken into multiple bite-size pieces. So the copy is easy to read and covers a broad range of topics. The most interesting department to me is Talking Points, in which they have four subjects  — in this case, Religion, Extremism, Glenn Beck and The Mosque — and three differing viewpoints on each. They are quick reads and yet make your brain work through the different perspectives.

Features

This magazine doesn’t really have features. There are just different lengths of articles in pre-defined sections. At the back, in The Last Word, The Week ran a long portion of an article that originated in the LA Weekly about Mike Penner/Christine Daniels. If you know anything about Penner’s/Daniels’ transgender story, you know it’s captivating. And The Week’s choice to run this excerpt of all other pieces in the media during that week shows it is a magazine that cares about good human interest issues as much as it does hard news. Kudos.

Use of Photography

Most photos are editorial stock images, and most are used small and just as a quick this-is-who-we’re-talking-about addition to the story. The biggest two pictures in the magazine are of Hilary Swank (good choice) and a grainy image of $7.5 million house (not really a good choice). It looks like the photos are stuffed into the places they fit, rather than planning pages around good photography. One photo of food to illustrate a recipe for grilled peach and mozzarella salad shows how important good food photography is, because this photo (and the smallness of it) makes me never want to eat or make said salad.

Use of Illustrations

The cover illustration is really, really good — and the only illustration in the entire magazine. It’s a shame because with cover illustrators like they have at their disposal, it would be great for the editors to utilize them more.

Relevance to Intended Audience

According to a study published on The Week’s website, 53% of its readers read each issue in its entirety, 48% read it the day they get it, and 47% call it one of their favorite magazines. I see that The Week should have very broad appeal, not just to top managers but to anyone who feels time-crunched but still interested in the news. I’m going to spend more time with my copy and see if it’s for me — because I hate to feel dumb about an issue but I also hate to spend a lot of time watching the news or reading papers, and I have a hard time finding “the truth” in the media.

Integration with Website

The website is more appealing visually than the magazine is. It’s clean and well-organized, and — thank goodness — it has no pink screens. Most of its content appears to be free, although some is open to subscribers only. The only push I see in the magazine, though, is on The Puzzle Page, where they direct readers to the website for Sudoku and crossword solutions and to enter a weekly contest that rewards one’s knowledge of a subject and relevant wordplay (like creating headlines or state laws).

Flow, Story Hierarchy

The Week functions as a page-turner only because you’re curious to see what’s next, not because it’s building to something. The Weeks positions its bread-and-butter (U.S. and worldwide news) at the beginning and leads into the lesser parts from there, almost like a newspaper rather than a magazine. It does end nicely, with The Last Word feature and The Puzzle Page, giving the reader a moment to come down before closing the issue. And I was caught off-guard every time I went through the magazine by the Best Properties on the Market page because it doesn’t seem to fit in any part of the magazine. It’s not listed under one of the magazine’s four sections, and it has more and bigger photos on that one spread than almost anywhere else in the book, so it looks out of place. And it has no intro or conclusion editorial, so it almost looks like a page pulled from one of those free real estate guides at the grocery store. Weird.

Paper Quality

The paper is thin and hardy, perfect for traveling. It’s a lot of material packed into only 60 pages, and it doesn’t wrinkle up or show a whole lot of wear, even after repeated use. The magazine is saddle-stitch and very newsy-looking from the outside.

Overall Opinion

If I were to judge only on editorial, I would give The Week an A, but I feel like it lacks so much in the visual department that I have to assign it a B. The great things about it are its diversity of content, its concept of aggregating stories for the reader and its illustrated cover. With a change in its design philosophy, it would be much stronger and more interesting to hold and flip through. Other improvements I would suggest: Create a more visually appealing editor’s note, add a contents page or section, and push the readers to the helpful and attractive website.

I invite your comments! Check out the magazine or its website and tell me what you think of it.

–Tyler Reed

Editor, The Sidebar Review

Update 4/24/11: TheWeek.com won an award for Digital Team of the Year from Min Online. The online magazine wrote the following about The Week: 

One of the most successful weeklies in recent memory, TheWeek brand finally brought to the Web this year the energy and unique editorial perspective that made the magazine such a winner. A host of new digital features have been thoughtfully customized for Web consumption while they embody TheWeek’s brand identity. Round-ups of key videos, the top news of the week, the best that is said on Sunday talk shows, the most poignant editorial cartoons and news videos and an at-a-glance view of what is news now all make the site a vital part of the 24/7 Web information machine. The effort more than quadrupled TheWeek.com’s audience reach in less than a year and almost sold out its available ad inventory.