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THE MEDIA MARCH 2017_DIGITAL

media hit and miss How cover design influences readers I decided to look at two of South Africa’s best-loved women’s titles. While both are excellent sources of information for women wanting to live full, beautiful, and organised lives, I wanted to dig a little deeper. I wanted to look at the impact of their cover design strategy and how it influences reader opinion on content relevance and credibility, and in answering their need for the latest advice and information on various topics. media hit Good Housekeeping: Well-considered design Aimed at women who are looking to find quality and value in every aspect of their lives, Good Housekeeping offers tried and trusted content that will inspire all areas of their busy lives. From health and wellness to food and fitness, beauty and home to personal style and parenting. Key hits: • Covers show beautiful variation yet retains consistent feel • Models have been well art directed, and poses show movement and assortment across issues • Colour cues have been taken from the model outfits to create a distinct look and feel for each issue • The feel of each issue is one that is considered without repetition • Font usage is changeable; they use on-trend fonts but retain aspects of the corporate font for that golden thread • Headings vary in size to draw the reader in Our human minds – in the rush of today’s busy lives and information overload – naturally and subconsciously identifies patterns. It is these simple human truths designers need to keep in mind when designing for repeat purchase and to retain interest. If my mind sees the new issue, but checks against the previous edition and the ‘pattern’ or visual imprint in my mind is similar, I will subconsciously assume that the content inside is not different and won’t offer new thoughts and insights either. As a result, the potential reader could pass-up this issue and buy another title. The above comparison shows the importance of well-considered design strategy.  media miss Essentials: Too similar and static Essentials is a ‘practical’ lifestyle monthly packed with savvy solutions and stylish twists. Expect loads of tips and advice on fashion, beauty, health, food, consumer issues, décor and real-life reads. It targets real South African women, putting them at the forefront of the content – and on the cover – every month. • Colour themes across multiple issues have the same colour or similar tone • Model poses mostly very similar and static • Font and headline placement is the same across editions • Always having the plain white background • Outfit colours not complementing or accentuating masthead colour or font colour choices • Article titles remain a similar size and position across a majority of the covers Lara-Anne Derbyshire is a creative group head at Boomtown, and is interested in publication design. She is also a part-time psychology student, giving her great insights into reader psyche. www.wagthedog.co.za themedia | 7


THE MEDIA MARCH 2017_DIGITAL
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