I was excited to read Mark Pilsbury's Editor's Log in the February issue as to the overall redesign of CW. I have long thought that the editorial was getting tired and the layout a bit dated. (Or maybe it's just that I've subscribed for so long that I've read it all many times over.) I just happened to have January right there, so I started with the cover. OK. So the World has gotten bigger relative to Cruising but otherwise the logotype remains the same. The logotype was yellow in January and white in February. (So I looked at December and it was white, hmmmm. No consistent use of branding.) The new cover story headline runs across the cover rather than flush left - okay that's a tiny bit different. The feature at the top is still on p. 62. Cover type is still yellow and white on a blue background. Hard to tell one issue from another.
Even though it's supposedly an updated type style,the type inside is still a serif, and still unreadable type size for the aging eyes of an average age 56 reader demographic. That really irks me. It happens when young graphic artists design for a demographic much older than they are (not their fault), and whoever approves it doesn't know any better. Italics everywhere are even harder to read. Multiple typefaces per page because you can. It's still a three column format, albeit the lead column is more interesting in its layout structure - more white space is pleasing. But I'm sorry, I just don't see a dramatic difference as promised.
The departments are still the same (although thank goodness for Fatty Goodlander and Wendy Mitman Clarke). What I expected was a spark of renewal in everything, including editorial content. Maybe dare I say, a strategic use of sans serif and a larger typeface that would work online and in the magazine for brand consistency. Perhaps maybe even a digest size edition. I expected something exciting from far afield. I expected perhaps a new column about what's happening at Yacht and sailing clubs to save sailing. Or what's happening with the state of the oceans and climate change and how that's affecting our choice of cruising territory or cruising routes. I was expecting a column of chance encounters between humans and wildlife. Perhaps each month a story of daring adventure on the high seas. Inspiration! I suppose I expected too much. The reader demographic is people who dream about going cruising and go coastal or charter. I suppose those ideas would be too far afield for dreaming.
It seems the magazine is getting thinner, with less and less to read in it of real interest to cruisers. What's there is always the same. Year after year, the same topics for each monthly edition planned years in advance. A formula. Charter, new boats, a bit about cruising, boat shows, new gear. Fits the advertising lineup. I get that. But what about fitting the bill for subscribers? For cruisers planning their next adventure? But then I suppose, I may have graduated from the ranks of CW prospects. I worked, I dreamed, I learned, I bought a boat, I went cruising. I am no longer a dreamer but a doer. CW inspired me back then. CW didn't grow up with me. Perhaps it's time to move on.
Is it just me, or did other readers have the same reaction?
Agree 100 % with the type size being too small for a lot of us.
I also detest color backgrounds for text. That may be "artistic" but it sure makes it hard to read much of the time.
All I can say is that magazines have always been same ol same ol. I have always told my wife to not save magazines because every 2-3 yrs everything gets re-printed but in the latest and greatest thought.
I buy magazines because I like the spark the mag gives me on there subject matter. I enjoy all the writers of this magazine. My only gripe is that since the new format, ads seem to have increased with more pages, yes, I know they pay the cost but make them smaller and add more pictures of sailboats.
I am lucky in the fact that I get to go home for lunch and always look forward to the next month delivery but will read it cover to cover in a few short hours and even read the ads which always jog the brain on maintenance.
Even thou I have owned a sailboat for yrs and crewed on boats far longer, I still like the dreamer part of a magazine, sure would love to get a 3' longer boat but the reality is it adds cost to the bottom line and as re-tirement looms, one must be content in the fact that a sailboat is owned, used and enjoyed.
Maybe its time for a sailboat raffle, say a 40' Blue Jacket, I would buy a ticket for 100.00
Hey Sailsense, love your idea for a boat raffle. Wish I'd thought of it when I was trying to sell my boat, probably could have cleaned up!
Too late now, of course, but maybe you'd be interested in a used sail raffle?
I delight in all the authors of this magazine. My main fuss is that since the new organization, ads appear to have expanded with additional pages, yes, I know they pay the expense however make them more modest and include more pictures.