Monthly Archives: February 2016

A new identity for American Airlines’ inflight portfolio

Lana-coverClient American Airlines

Brief To re-imagine American Way, Nexus and Celebrated Living, the inflight magazines and apps for the largest airline in the world.

Approach With a readership of nearly 200m people, American Way is the world’s longest standing and most famous in-flight magazine. To make the title a better fit between audience and brand, the design and content was completely overhauled. The result has a premium feel yet retains high levels of readability and ease of access.

The luxury quarterly Celebrated Living was similarly treated for American Airlines’ first class passengers, along with Nexus, the dual language title for the South American routes.

Sales comms were completely overhauled, the app redesigned under the Magplus platform, and a new art director recruited to work out of the Dallas office.

Outcomes Winning this account cemented Ink Global’s position as the world’s pre-eminent travel media company. New US accounts such as Amtrack have followed, along with yet more awards.

New logo

New logo

iPhone app produced under Magplus

iPhone app produced under Magplus

Debut cover, photographed by Andrew McPherson in LADebut cover, photographed by Andrew McPherson in LA

american-way-contents-437

New logo

New logo

Development cover

Development cover

Development content

Development content

New logo

New logo

Debut issues of the portfolio

Debut issues of the portfolio

Before and after

Before and after

As seen en-route!

As seen en-route!

Would you buy a magazine from this man?

vendor-week-big-issueIn the world of publishing, the Big Issue has a unique business model, as it’s the transaction with the vendor that delivers so much of the value to the customer. This creates real tension throughout the sales process; are you paying for the journalism, or are you supporting a homeless person trying to make a go of something for themselves?

This week I found out for myself, as I took part in #vendorweek, celebrating the people who sell 112 different street papers throughout the world. Along with a bunch of editors, supporters and ‘personalities’ I had agreed  to don an official Big Issue vest and see how many copies I could shift in London’s Covent Garden.

But soon, standing alone outside Pandora I realised that the Big Issue tabbard appeared to have made me invisible. Not only that,  but the thing I was really selling here was myself, and my perceived plight.

All told, I sold two copies. The first was to a chap who just wanted to donate me a pound, but not take the magazine. I literally had to run back up the street to get him to take it back; ‘Nah, mate, I can’t take your quid if you can’t take the magazine’. At which point he relented and bought an issue. Fair enough.

By this point, I was getting no-where just asking folk to ‘buy the Big Issue’, so I had started to quote the cover story, a somewhat high concept piece about Sir Ian McKellen interviewed by Shakespeare, apparently.

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players’ begins the feature. This became my fairground barker schtick, the claim of a world first, a journalistic exclusive, and that it was all inside THIS, the very latest Big Issue.

But as before, blank indifference, perhaps a wry smile, that was it.

The indefatigable Paul McNamee is the editor of the Big Issue. He’s rightly won a sackful of honours and currently holds the PPA Cover Of The Year Award noted on this blog earlier. But if ever I wished for a different cover splash, this was it.  ‘Bloody Shakespeare, why can’t this be a Wogan cover’ I muttered, even though the issue had gone to press before he died.

Then, just as I was finishing my hour, a chap came from out of my eyeline and bought an issue. I hadn’t seen him before, he must have heard my pitch and come back.

At which point I experienced a true sense of accomplishment. Moreover, this man gave me the idea that I’d been seen, and accepted for who I was, or at least pretending to be.

All told, I’d made £2.50 profit for the Big Issue. But this last exchange was worth more than that to me, it gave me confidence that I could do this, that if needed, I could keep on going.

Thanks mate, much appreciated…

Increased 2016 newsstand sales with a brand new cover design

realhomes-emboss-437Client: Centaur Publishing

Objectives: To increase newsstand sales and subscriptions.

Approach: The homes market is tough, no more so than in the middle. Here, Ideal Home is the leader, followed by House Beautiful, and Good Homes with Real Homes bringing up the rear.

The approach centred on a dramatic new logo and a powerful new strapline that focussed on brand benefits as opposed to just the content. Real Homes’ USP is all about large scale renovations, the new design and presentation uses floor plans and detailed case studies to make that benefit Crystal clear. Inside/outside imagery is key to this, as demonstrated by the Luxury Cover above, beautifully designed by Senior Art Editor Emily Smith.

Outcomes: The relaunch issue sold 10% more YOY, with the longer term result of totally reinvigorating the brand.

real-homes-single-437 See more