In print since 1792, the iconic publication has a lot to say about the staying power of the printed piece.
“Print,” says The Old Farmer’s Almanac publisher Sherin Pierce, “has been the most essential element in keeping this product alive.”
Those insightful words were spoken in a recent conversation Pierce had with Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni commemorating the 225th anniversary of the publication.
When asked what keeps the print edition going strong after more than two centuries, Pierce is clear: “The simple answer is the incredible love and affection that people have for the Old Farmer’s Almanac and that love started in its print form,” she notes. “Of course, that’s how the Almanac began back in 1792 and it developed a reputation of being credible and trustworthy, and something that people welcomed into their families and homes.”
They’ve been not just welcomed, but saved and often passed down through the generations, and aside from a few basics like Arm & Hammer baking soda and Baker’s Cocoa (both early advertisers in the Almanac) not many products have had this kind of longevity in the American marketing landscape.
It’s not entirely surprising then that the recent refresh of the design commemorating the 225th edition has been subtle rather than drastic.
“If it isn’t broken, you don’t fix it, so we enhanced it rather than a complete redesign,” Pierce explains. “It’s such a recognizable cover and you don’t want to do anything to damage that, but you want to, again, enhance certain elements that may have faded a bit over the past decades.”
And while the brand’s social media presence has been burgeoning (they boast 1.4 million Facebook followers), the primary essence of the publication is – and likely always will be – print. Like the famous “hole” in the cover that just can’t be replicated online, some things are better in print.
“See, that’s why when people said that print was dead, we always knew that for the Almanac to survive, we had to have print. We just had to. People need that and they want to see it,” Pierce notes.
Happy birthday to a true American original!