Great work often needs to abandon the dead bodies of many good ideas.
 
Client: Baneasa
Project: Styler Customer Magazine
Time frame: November 2007 – up to the present day
www.baneasashoppingcity.ro

Project Description

Styler is a lifestyle & fashion magazine targeted to the customers of Baneasa Shopping City. It is a quarterly 164-page magazine. Styler is distributed for free to all the mall’s customers.

Client: Baneasa

Baneasa Developments is the division dealing with the development of the Baneasa Commercial Area. This area is part of the biggest urban development project in Romania, now under construction in Baneasa, in the Northern part of Bucharest. Within commercial area one can find IKEA, Carrefour Feeria, Metro, Bricostore, Mobexpert and, from April, Baneasa Shopping City mall.

Apart from the commercial area, the Baneasa Project also comprises a residential area containing about 5,000 apartments and a business park in the form of 11 office buildings.

Objectives Set for the Project:

  • Becoming an efficient means of communication between Baneasa Shopping City and its target clients
  • Supporting the positioning of Baneasa Shopping City as a fashion mall, providing the best mix of brands on the market and the best variety of fashion and style products
  • Providing information about the shops and the products that one can find at the mall, thus meeting the expectations of both tenants and clients
  • Helping to increase Baneasa Shopping City’s customer loyalty
  • Raising the standard of communication for our business partners (the tenants), thus providing them with a communication platform that facilitates direct communication with their potential customers

Development of the Project

Styler is a quarterly magazine for Baneasa Shopping City customers (a customer magazine). This was the starting point when creating the strategy, editorial and graphical concept of the magazine. We thus set the target: urban, middle class adults who desire and can affording a quality of life similar to other Europeans. They pay attention to the quality of the products and are interested in international lifestyle trends, choosing products according to their preferences and adjusting their choices to their own lifestyle.

We also intended to offer the reader a fresh approach in lifestyle journalism, providing articles on interesting and surprising issues in a rigorous and spectacular design.

Through this magazine, we intended to offer the mall visitors a complementary experience to the excitement involved in shopping. We wished to enhance the feeling that shopping in Baneasa Shopping City was an utterly different experience to shopping at any other malls.

A particular aspect of this publication that helped us to set our editorial concept was its periodicity. Being a quarterly magazine, Styler requires a longer time to be read compared to a monthly one. This implies that the article should not be strictly tied to topical issues, as it outlives that which is specific to a particular month. We intended Styler to become a collectible magazine, so the editorial concept offers the reader all the necessary reasons to collect it to re-read at a later time.

The graphical concept supported the above mentioned approach. Given the requirements of a quarterly magazine, its structure and its layout are designed to be reader friendly and they invite the reader to sit back and relax when thumbing through Styler’s pages.

We divided the magazine into three main sections according to the classic structure:

  • Front of the book (first section, called Agenda): comprising short, brief and dynamic pieces
  • The Well (middle section, called Showtime): it is the section with the most thorough approach, longer articles, fashion features, interview-reportage. The well contains an innovation for Romanian magazines – a theme based supplement that contains columns dedicated to, for example, the world of perfumes and fragrances.
  • Back of the book (last section, called Lounge): contains articles on beauty, interiors and food, interviews, useful – ‘how to’ articles, as well as brand advertorials  – this section is characterized by a practical functionality

Any mall, especially one as spectacular as Baneasa Shopping City is a paradise for the senses. All of them – from sight to smell – are constantly aroused. We intended to re-create in the magazine the shopping experience that a customer is used to – by creating an environment that arouses all the senses (by direct access to the shops, restaurants, entertainment area). Styler invokes a sensual reaction at primary level that we complement with our rational approach to the written content within.  Like the mall, Styler uses all its attributes to stimulate the senses: colors, paper texture, the ink’s specific scent, the pages’ swish.

Additionally, we built the magazine’s identity upon the four primordial elements: water, air, fire and earth. Styler is a quarterly magazine so we associated an issue to each element (spring – water, summer – fire, autumn – earth, winter - air). Each publication has an innovative structure based upon that specific element.  A 16-page supplement on the season’s hot topics is added to each edition as a way of helping us adapt to the lifestyle of the season. The supplement is a “magazine within a magazine”, placed in the middle of the publication and printed on differently textured paper and with a distinct layout. The reader thus better identifies with that section of the magazine and it provides them with the key-theme of the entire magazine.

We also intended Styler to have a practical format. We put ourselves into our readers’ shoes, the customers of Baneasa Shopping City, and created the Navigator - a boarded page, located somewhere in the final section of the magazine. It contains the map of the 2 floors of the mall that indicates the position and reference code of each shop. There is also a list of the stores and a directory that displays them according to the products they sell. Any product that is mentioned (fashion pictorials, shopping related pages) in the magazine is also accompanied by code of the shop where it can be purchased, thus facilitating the reader’s research. The navigator can be detached from the magazine by the shopper and used as the mall’s actual map.

As always, we carefully chose our fonts and chromatic range as they have such a definite influence on the personality of a publication. We chose for Styler (and purchased – unlike the usual practice in Romania) the exact fonts we wanted: a serif and a sans serif, both created by the designer, Xavier Dupre. These two complementary fonts are built by the combination of elements belonging to two different cultures: European (the Roman civilization) and South-Eastern Asia. Such a combination leads to interesting graphical conflicts (based on the belief that, in terms of design, graphical conflicts are useful) capable of supporting the personality and the tone of voice of the magazine.

We chose a reduced chromatic range in order to highlight the images and the text. This allows the readers to focus on the content as their attention is not drawn by a visual aggressive approach.

The method of printing (offset and web offset) and paper type were complex issues that raised discussion. Both the client, Baneasa Shopping City, and the Re:ply team wanted the magazine to support the editorial concept (related to the senses) behind Styler’s identity.  We decided to use two printing modes: normal raster printing for the majority of the pages, and a stochastic raster (usually used in art albums for better color rendering of the images) for the cover and the theme.

The first issue of the magazine was entirely printed by offset, and the applied folio printing of the magazine logo was made in Germany. The subsequent issues’ covers, theme pages and Navigator will be printed offset, while the rest of the pages will be web offset. The printing was made in cooperation with Peggy Production, Visual Promotion and CoPrint.

Outcome:

  • Styler was launched in April 2008, so the outcome is to be assessed after six months
  • The first issue of the magazine was greatly welcomed by the customers of Baneasa Shopping City, and the advertising space was entirely acquired
  • For the first issue, the advertising supported over 75% of the investment and there are big chances that this percentage can increase for the second issue

Technical Information:

a.    Periodicity: quarterly
b.    Number of pages: 164
c.    Average circulation: 25.000 copies / edition
d.    Distribution: locale
e.    Format: 210 x 265 mm

 
 
 



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