A dollop of this, a soupçon of that – in the world of culinary arts, small yet intentional changes can make a big difference.
So it goes in the world of publishing, as Bon Appétit unveils recent changes to their iconic 62-year-old print title.
“It’s not necessarily a redesign,” cautions Bon Appétit creative director Michele Outland in an interview with Greg Dool of Folio. “We’re calling it a refresh.”
The redo will be ready just in time for the biggest foodie day of the year; the November issue hits the newsstands today. But don’t worry; the magazine’s redoes are a subtle as that last pinch of nutmeg on the sweet potato casserole.
“I walked into a super strong brand, and there wasn’t a whole lot I wanted to change,” Outland adds. “I think [editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport] and the previous teams that were here have done a great job to establish the voice and tone of BA, so I just wanted to give it a couple of enhancements.”
Alongside some subtle font changes – “we added a few more thicks and thins,” Outland notes – the updates will be most noticeable in the front- and back-of-books sections … the appetizer and dessert, if you will.
“Up front, the magazine’s ‘Starters,’ ‘BA Kitchen,’ ‘City Guides,’ and ‘The Feed’ departments have been simplified into ‘Home’ and ‘Away’,” Dool explains. Their popular weeknight cooking content will live in the “Home” section, while “Away” will house their travel and restaurant pieces.
Another change reflects the transformation of the Bon Appétit brand to a multi-channel experience. Outland explains that both the front and back sections will offer “more visibility for the personalities behind the magazine, partially driven by what the brand has been doing outside of print.
“YouTube and video have become a big component of what we are doing here, and people are really getting to know our editors,” Outland continues. “We’re really starting to put a face to the name, so we wanted to make sure that this familiarity on YouTube is also present in the print aspect.”
At the same time, Outland does recognize that their print audience is not necessarily glued to their smartphones, yet understand that this multi-channel approach will grow readership.
“Our readership in print is a little bit older,” says Outland. “There isn’t a huge swath of YouTube viewers in that audience, but I think we have a whole other audience online, and some of them don’t even know the magazine exists. It’s a great time for this cross-pollination of different platforms and seeing how we can drive things back and forth.”