The Week Debuts New Cover Design

first_imgThe Week quietly debuted a new cover design for its June 26th issue.The design brings the cover in line with its UK and Australian versionswhile also leveraging some of the newsstand magic the magazine hasoutside of the U.S. where it is  primarily a subscription-drivenpublication.According to U.S. publisher Jed Hartman, the English team hadinitiated a redesign to capture more single-copy sales in thatcountry’s much more dynamic newsstand environment. “Our brethren in theUK had been experimenting with different covers, which we were involvedwith as well,” he said. “They have a much higher newsstand presencethan we do. Here, we’re a more subscription-driven publication, but thenew format is more newsstand friendly. We also, as a global brand,wanted to remain uniform.”The new design drops the left “sidebar” format, instead placingcover lines across the top of the masthead where newsstand browsers aremore likely to see them. The leftover space also created an opportunityfor bigger coverline treatments. While the sidebar may have been less noticeable on the newsstand, itdid provide a specific function: It acted as an unofficial table ofcontents, which the magazine doesn’t have. “Readers tend to read TheWeek from cover to cover,” said Hartman. “Although we do like to give alittle guide to the reader and that’s what the sidebar did. So we movedthat [function] to the top of the magazine.” The magazine’s subscription-driven model can’t be overstated.Published 48 times per year, The Week has a total paid and verifiedcirc of about 516,000. Its newsstand sales average only .4percent—about 1,800 copies—according to the December 2008 publisher’sstatement with ABC.According to Hartman, the new design was a “tweak,” but asignificant one. “This was a major change. We’re a formatted magazinethat’s working, so we’re very careful about what we change,” he said,adding that it’s always better to make changes when a magazine isenjoying some success. “Tweaking a product when it’s doing well is astrategy we’d rather do than to completely overhaul it when it’s notdoing well.”last_img

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