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TOP 100 COVERS We Liked in the Past Year 

Best of 5000+ issues of 400+ magazines from all the categories and across the genre that were released in one year in India.




 


Times What’s Up?!: It’s cool…!
Do you remember one of my older reviews about ‘Which Right Choice?’ magazine? It was quite an unusual kind of magazine to help consumers to make buying decision by providing them purely editorial perspective and unbiased verdicts on variety of consumer products and services. The USP of WRC is that they don’t accept any single advertisement or advertorial or sponsored feature (not even for the covers) to put in the magazine to ensure its positioning in readers mind that this magazine is absolutely editorial driven, not the advertisements. 
Now ‘Times What’s Up?!’ is recently launched magazine by Times Of India group which is also in the same genre but interestingly it is just opposite to WRC in terms of content. TWU is merely a compilation of advertorials and promotional features except of very editorial articles. A very unique proposition and solves fairly its purpose to help consumers to in buying. Read Complete

Gorgeous Looks: Not looking even average
Pratishtha Publication has recently launched this bi-monthly title – ‘Gorgeous Looks’ with the tag line of ‘The Health, Beauty and Lifestyle Magazine’. Now, each one of these three areas from the tag line are so wide and broad that you need to be very careful to decide your boundaries and scopes for the coverage and lifestyle, as I see, is the most misused genre in magazines publishing. 
Anything which does not fit into any category, that somehow gets a seat in lifestyle category. Exactly same is the variety (?) of content when you go through the issue of GL. You actually get lost and forget what kind of magazine you are reading by the way. Read Complete


Travel with Style: Does not take you anywhere

What comes to your mind when someone promises you to take for a 'Travel with Style'? Obviously, a stylish and luxurious traveling experience! I also expected the same when I picked up this magazine from newsstand which is launched last month only by Sampan Media Pvt. Ltd. But it wiped out all my expectations from this magazine when I read it thoroughly.
 Read Complete 

Innovation + Win = Innowin: Right Equation?

Everything that is out of the box is not an innovation. It is not necessary always is the result of creativity but also can be because of negligence. This belief of mine became even stronger after going through recently launched magazine – Innowin.
The moment I saw the launch issue on the stands, when I picked the issue in my hands, it looked different but was that enough? Here’s how do I feel about this magazine after going through it closely. Read Complete

Ye lo...framed Indian traveler!
National Geographic Traveller (NGT) is another publication surrounded with yellow frame and has earned same respect for its journalistic values. Its Indian edition is launched by ACK media (very well known for Amar Chitra Katha, Tinkle & Karadi Tales) this month where it has to compete with other existing international & Indian publications like Conde Nast Traveller, Lonely Planet Magazine, Outlook Traveller, Travel Plus, Geo etc to create its own mind-share


Small Medium Entrepreneur: Business of businesses
’Franchise India Publication’, the publisher of various other publications like Estate World, The Franchising World, Retailer and many web portals has recently launched a new magazine- Small Medium Entrepreneur. As name suggests itself that it is to target the small & medium sized businesses & entrepreneurs in the country where couple of other magazines already are there to target the same genre. It is quite common of having many magazines from same genre with very similar or resembling titles but at least their treatment should be different if you want to create your own identity. 
Read Complete

Science for a common man: Popular Science India
I always see ‘Popular Science’ magazine as a periodical that explains the reality of this scientific universe in simple language to a common and a layman where he lives. It covers every aspect science and technology that touches our day-to-day life and may affect our future. It brings science from scientists’ laboratories to the layman’s level understanding of complicated facts & principles and that is why I prefer to call it ‘People Science’ magazine. 


Filmfare now available in Hindi... big deal!

In the launch issue of Hindi edition of Filmfare, Editor Jitesh Pillai has signed off his edit note with- ‘I hope that the same affection & bonding you would share with Hindi edition of Filmfare the way you have been doing for the last sixty years with English edition’. After going through the issue I was surprised if two products are not at same level in terms of editorial quality & seriousness, how can you expect the same kind of treatment & bonding from the consumer for them? In fact, for that matter, any magazine which has no editorial vision or has not done complete editorial ground work or is not serious about its standards or does not understand the content needs of its audience that magazine cannot become a great magazine. 

Imperfect Magazine for a Perfect Woman

Publisher of recently launched magazine- ‘Perfect Woman’ claims that it is aiming at the modern, discerning and sharp focused woman of today. Perfect Woman is the new entrant in the genre of magazine for woman in India which is launched by GGC Ltd. as a monthly magazine.
    Indian market is already flooded with many Indian & foreign titles like Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Femina, New Woman, Woman’s Era, Elle, Good Housekeeping, Verve and many more. Amongst them, few are fighting to be on top and couple of others are struggling even for their survival,. In that kind of competitive scenario, it becomes even more challenging to come up with an extra ordinarily brilliant product to capture a remarkable market share for you. 

The Business Enterprise: Management Kids' Primer

I have said this at many places that few magazines are simply conceived & started by their editors/publishers without having any publication sense. Just because they have got some expertise in a particular domain or few hundreds or thousands contacts in that segment, they start thinking that they should now start a magazine for this community on this subject. And, my belief gets even stronger, whenever I come across magazines like - The Business Enterprise. This is the newly launched publication from Brisk Corporate Services Pte. Ltd. Chennai. 
Though it is claimed to be a complete enterprise magazine but actually it seems just a compilation of an absolutely general management & business articles those you can find in any of beginners management books or even in business supplements of news papers. 

Adorn: Luxury on the paper

At least one jewellery magazine which shows a class in everything- in its content, text, photographs, paper, or as a complete product –Adorn. Adorn is a recently launched bi-monthly luxury jewellery magazine by Spenta multimedia (publishers of many custom magazines like Jetwings, First Update, FlyLite, Imperia, Solitaire, Apparel etc.. & consumer magazine – Hair and various books). 

Sound Box: It doesn't look sound enough!

Trade magazines have one plus point over B2C magazines that they have focused & identified target audience. That is why Publishers and editors of such publications can create a great magazine for that niche sector. But unfortunately in the most cases, such magazines face carelessness in content presentation - in terms of editorial and design, both.

 

Select Publishing Company (also the publisher of Indian film trade weekly - Box Office India) has launched a monthly magazine recently for the people who are related to the music industry – SOUND BOX. Being a music trade magazine, this is targeting everybody who either is on the side of making music or is on the other side where music is used in his businesses like music stores, music channels, mobile & online companies etc. 


Thank God...our infrastructure is better than Trafficinfratech!

It seems like if one has got some contacts in some industry sector or if he has a database of key people in that trade, he starts a publication for that particular sector. Without giving the necessary attention to the publication or without putting essential efforts for making a great magazine, he simply launches a substandard magazine. Most of the Business to Business publications have similar kind of history of their inception… and so is their destined result –
a bad magazine!

Trafficinfratech is recently launched bi-monthly magazine for the traffic related infrastructure, systems and technology. This very niche magazine is launched by Virtual Info Systems Pvt Ltd who also publishes ‘Clean India Journal’ and ‘Buildotech’ and hosts a couple of trade shows. 

Read Complete

International catalog for Indian homes
'Trends', a new magazine launched in India by WWM & Times group JV. In fact, it is not a magazine but it is a series of topical books which are in shape of magazines. Since these are produced this way and made available at premium book & magazine stores only, they are positioned as ‘bookazines’. For the longer shelf life these bookazines don’t have the publication date on the cover. In order to follow the trend of its International edition, the Indian edition will also have 10 issues only in a year. Read Complete

Ashvarttha: All is well...!
You must agree that wellness is just another booming sector today and that is why we have been witnessing so many new launches since last recent years – 4thD Wellness, Complete Wellbeing, Men’s Health, Prevention, Doc n Doc, Asianspa India etc…some for general reader and some for trade or industry people. Earlier, we had very few national level magazines and a couple of regional language magazines on this subject as a broad category. But, in the last 2-3 years, even this genre is divided further into more specific and focused verticals like health, cure, prevention, care and even luxury spa etc. All is about wellness…! Read Complete

Youth Eye: Absolutely Unconscious
Though actual tag line is ‘Collectively Conscious’ but the way this magazine goes, my title suits better.

By the way, I am talking about a monthly magazine – ‘Youth Eye’ which is recently launched by Pragati Printing & Publications co. and as its title suggests it is targeting youth only! But, after going through initial issues of this magazine it very clear that the publisher & editor of this magazine have no idea how to create a magazine.The articles are so general in nature that they can appeal anybody (rather nobody)! Read complete


IT NEXT: It’s for CIO of tomorrow!
IT NEXT is the new magazine launched by 9.9 Mediaworx pvt. ltd. (also the publisher of digit, skoar, CTO forum, Digit Channel, Industry 2.0, Logistic 2.0 and several more…) in the beginning of this year. IT NEXT is targeting next in line CIOs to help them to reach at top seat.
Overall, IT NEXT is good to browse but to hook the IT managers permanently into this, this magazine needs to be A) improve on objective content & its structure and B) absolutely firm & consistent on its positioning. Read Complete

CAREERS360 in Hindi: 360 degree of blunder!
Do you remember my ‘virdi’ct for ‘CAREERS360’ magazine  that I have posted almost a year ago at its launch? As it is that English edition is not so impressive and now its Hindi edition is also there in the market and this is even worse. After going through this launch issue of Hindi edition, I am wondering why this product is launched at all? If it was meant to be a substandard product the way it is, then what was the need for creating it? Why the people behind this kind of poor ‘language-edition’ don’t respect their audience or at least their own product’s credibility? Read complete 


I often say- when it is just close to the perfection, even a small mistake seems bigger than it is in the real. That small error of yours can ruin all your efforts of making your creation perfect to the T. The Indian edition of ‘Lonely Planet’ magazine which is launched last week in India by WWM Pvt Ltd (also publisher of Filmfare, Femina – English and Hindi, Good Housekeeping, Top Gear, Hello, Grazia etc.) is a latest entrant in travelling space in Indian market. Read complete

Most pathetic publication released in recent few months (rather, in years) I have come across is – Red Carpet. This monthly magazine is launched late in the last year by owner, printer and publisher – Subodh Tyagi. It is priced at Rs.100 and is self acclaimed as world’s 1st new dimension film journal. But, it has no editorial focus and looks like a compilation only of a few substandard filmy gossips and photographs. Read Complete

Cover of the launch issue of Indian edition of ‘Sports Illustrated’ magazine also approves that for us Indians- sports means cricket, that’s it. American magazine Sports Illustrated is launched this October in India by Time Inc and Dennis Media TransAsia (also publisher of Indian editions of Maxim, Blender, Travel+Leisure, Better Homes & Gardens, Casaviva, Child etc.) as a monthly magazine that is priced at Rs.100. International edition of SI is regarded for its in-depth sports analysis, experts’ columns and of course for its great photography. Read Complete

Every issue of Better Photography Magazine has been carrying consistent covers and that eventually have become now an identity for the magazine (brand). This consistency has helped in building the unique personality of Better Photography which distinguishes it amongst its competitors on the newsstands.

Let me explain you the simple yet effective philosophy behind its covers by illustrating one (the latest one, for the matter) in detail. 

Read Complete


Have you ever heard about a magazine which doesn’t accept any advertisement to build the credibility in reader’s mind that they are unbiased? They don’t even ask manufacturers/dealers to send their products for the review instead they buy all the products and then they test on their well researched benchmarks! This is RIGHT CHOICE magazine, launched 50 years ago in UK by a consumer organization- WHICH? and now it is launched last month in India with the name- WHICH? RIGHT CHOICE. Read Complete

Now, this is what I call a Redesign!                              
Last week in Indian publishing world, a true makeover is happened to Hindustan Times. It can be referred as a great example of a sensible & well executed exercise of face lifting of a print product. Not in terms of design & look-n-feel only but in terms of over all content structure & positioning also. It is not limited up to typography or colors but it has changed the entire personality of the publication. 

Read Complete


The India Today Group has launched recently a monthly magazine – G&G (Gadgets & Gizmos) for mass… or ‘focused’ larger audience in the same space after testing the water by putting special editions with the same title in the past. Now, launch of this title as a regular monthly magazines clearly shows that India Today Group has gauged the scope of this product. Read Complete



Though Indian market has already a couple of magazines in this space, Livingetc has its own vertical of ‘fashionable & stylish homes’. Editor-in-Chief Amitabh Taneja believes that India is now ready to have a magazine with this positioning. Indian edition of livingetc is edited by Executive Editor, Mridula Sharma who had an association with ‘Design Today’, ‘Better Homes & Gardens’ and ‘Inside Outside’ magazines. Read Complete

After the release of ‘SHUKRAWAR’ in the last year, Perls News Network also launched ‘MONEY MANTRA’ in the beginning of this year. And maintaining the same pace the PNN group has now launched another monthly magazine for women- ‘BINDIYA’. All the three magazines are in Hindi and Editor of BINDIYA, Shrikant Tripathi is confident that like their previous two magazines, BINDIYA will also be great success. Read Complete 

YUVA is a fortnightly magazine that is launched last week by e-sense entertainment pvt Ltd. As claimed in publisher’s note, YUVA is going to target entire youth of between 18-30years of age and will become a movement (!?) to help them to bring a change in the country!!! But after seeing the execution, in terms of first issue of YUVA, I would call it overconfidence! Read Complete 



Brand Licensing’ is latest entrant in the category of B2B magazines. ‘Brand Licensing’ as its editor in chief- Lajwant Singh claims in his first edit note, is first-of-its-kind of magazine in India that will help & educate entrepreneurs and companies to setup or expand their business via licensing. ‘Brand Licensing’ is launched by franchising & retailing group- Franchise India Holdings Ltd. (www.franchiseindia.com) who is also publisher of two more B2B magazines- ‘The Franchising World’ and ‘Retailer’. Read Complete

…but are you open for this? That is the question which is there all around on hoardings, newspapers everywhere. A weekly magazine OPEN, as the first product in the pipe line of their print venture by Saregama Pvt Ltd. is launched last week across the nation. It is going to be general interest magazine by touching every serious & trivial aspect of your life. The question of your openness arises after looking at its USP- Its different! And irony is that people resist for change and they are not open for it. Read Complete

Just about twenty years back, engineering or medical used to be the guarantee for the secure & bright future, but today scenario is changed. Youth of today has lots of options and so is confusion. Hence, there was a strong need for such a guide which can mentor any aspiring graduate or mid-career professional. And, a magazine from Pathfinder Publishing Pvt Ltd is here to guide all the aspiring people for taking the right and informed career path to pursue their dreams- Careers360. Read Complete

 
It seems very simple to publishers to produce a magazine if they have a mix variety of content… magazine for which genre...? 'Lifestyle' of course! At least a dozen of magazines got launched in India last year which are positioned as 'lifestyle' magazine by their publishers. And now one more magazine is launched recently in the same space with the title- Lifestyle Living by Gill India Communications Pvt. Ltd. (you must have read about GICPL in my last post on What Women Want). Read Complete

Gill India Communications Pvt. Ltd. (also the publishers of Today’s Traveller, B2B- Today’s Traveller Newswire & Pharma Health Newswire) has launched the magazine called “What Women Want” in December 08. According to Mr. Vivek Mittal, VP of GICPL- W3 is positioned against Femina & Good Housekeeping. Content wise also, it is going to target the housewife & working women from the age group of 18-60 years. Read Complete

“World’s Best-Selling Gadget Mag” (as they claim top on the mast-head itself), Gadgets-Gear-Technology magazine, STUFF is launched in December in India in its desi avataar. You must be aware that its international edition was made available by Haymarket (also the publishers of Autocar, WhatCar? and What Hi-Fi), at lower price for Indian readers in November 2007. Now, almost a year later, this Indian edition is released with lesser pages, poor presentation, and inferior product quality at same lower price- Rs.100.  Read Complete

If it is fashion… there are designers… if there are designers, there are models…ramps… if there are models, there are agencies…photographers…stylists… welcome to the dazzling world of glamour!
Both, the fashion & the modeling (most of the time) seem collectively as one not two, but surely there is a blurred line between these two. It depends up to you if you want to make that line apparent or you want to vanish it. May be it is a smart way to target both in one shot that is why '100 communications', a Delhi based fashion event company has recently launched a bi-monthly magazine- 'Mega Modelz'. Read Complete


Great news for you if you still love to read Vikram & Vetala's stories in chandamama. 61 years ago B. Nagi Reddi and Chakrapani conceptualized a magazine for kids Chandamama that is still connecting the youth of tomorrow with our tradition, mythology and the his tory in the form of stories. Read Complete



VJM Media, publishers of Cine Blitz, one of very few surviving magazines on Hindi Cinema, has introduced hindi edition of Cine Blitz. Priced at 40Rs. (while English edition is available at Rs50 on news stands), issue is looking great in first glance. I hope you have checked my review on Femina Hindi, which is also launched at same time. I must tell you that Cine Blitz is better 'Hindi version' than the Femina (hindi). Read Complete

   
 It is meant for an Indian woman... a desi girl! I am talking about Femina – a 50 years old magazine for a contemporary woman of today's India. Though they claim to be number one women magazine in India, the truth is that it has got tough competition from Cosmopolitan, Savvy, Women's Era, Elle, Gurlz, Seventeen, 4thD Woman, Marie Claire, Prevention, Vogue etc. along with a little bit change in their respective positioning. Read Complete
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Delhi Press, publisher of 26 diversified magazines in 9 different Indian languages, has launched its ‘kind’ of magazine on information technology- ‘Live IT’. Tag line of the magazine claims- IT magazine for the contemporary women.
Well, I disagree… after going through inch-by-inch of the inaugural issue! Read Complete



After Vogue, GQ is the second launch in India by Conde Nast India Pvt. Ltd.. In the month of October, when Vogue India is celebrating its 1st anniversary, Indian edition of GQ is also stepped in Indian market. The acclaimed authority in style & culture, Gentlemen’s Quarterly well, GQ is launched as monthly magazine in India to conquer the heart of urban Indian men (not the boys…). Read Complete

Really… having knowledge on a subject is one thing and presenting & packaging it to put a magazine together around that subject is different all together…!
Cellpassion, very odd in size (21X30cms precisely if you can visualize), a bi-monthly magazine is launched this month by Cellpassion Networks Private Ltd. (also the owner of www.cellpassion.com. Read Complete 



Publishers of this magazine themselves claim that RANDOM is launched to fill the vacuum created by MAD magazine. Trust me, it is a big disappointment. Tagline of 'India's longest running humor magazine' also shows their overconfidence. RANDOM is recently launched as bi-monthly comic magazine at cover price of Rs.25. Read Complete



Hey Moms & Dads, CHILD, a complete monthly Child-care guide just for you is launched by Media Transasia India Ltd. last month. CHILD India is launched under sub-license from Meredith Publishing Group, USA (publishers of leading magazines like ‘American Baby’ and ‘Parents’). You must be aware of that the Media Transasia is also publishes various magazines like ‘Swaagat’, ‘Maxim’, ‘Travel + Leisure’, ‘Better Homes & Gardens’ and ‘Golf Style’ etc. Read Complete

Almost four decade year old, American music & pop culture magazine 'Rolling Stone' is launched last week in India by MW.com India pvt Ltd (also the publisher of Man's World). Magazine is going to target college going kids and that’s why content relevant to that generation is also served in the language which they speak. Don’t get confused with the writing style of 'JAM', 'JLT', 'IGT" or something like that but RS is always admired for its standout, in depth content coverage with a serious journalistic writing. But, will RS India be carrying local content or US content? Well Mixed! Any Indian music which will sense Rock & Roll, will be covered here in RS India. Read complete


Good HomeMaker, a monthly magazine is launched by Pioneer Books Pvt. Ltd (publisher of Meri Saheli, Arogya Sanjeevani, Ved Amrut & New Woman) for Urban-Metropolitan ladies & housewives, who do not speak-read English comfortably as compared to Hindi but who are familiar with English lingo and common words related to fashion, beauty, interior, style & life style. Read complete


 
Yes, it seems the time for change for everyone. In last few weeks or months, so many magazines have redesigned and revamped. Few have got a new look, few have a new periodicity, few have got entirely new avatar...makeover for improvement, change for betterment. Read complete

EuroKids International, the Pre School specialist has launched this magazine called- "Parenting & You". Targeting parents, its inaugural issue (December 08) is carrying more than two dozens of articles to provide its readers new & different insights. It is conceived to empower parents in bringing up kids from the age of two to twelve. Read complete



FAD- a fashion magazine, as claimed by publisher, Pankaj Burande of Leela Publication House looks totally confused and lost to be in every space along with the fashion, though its tag line- 'fashion day-2 day' indicates its absolutely different positioning.
Read complete



A very niche and India’s first luxury boating magazine, INDIABOATING is launched recently by Bluewater Publications Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai at the cover price of Rs.300.

Read complete



 


Well, its really pleasant that very first time in Indian publishing, one publisher has dare to experiment on this. BBC Worldwide has put FIVE different covers on FEMINA's latest issue. This way a buyer have choice to pick the copy which is carrying his/her favorite face out of Bipasha, Priyanka, Deepika, Priety and Aish. Or one can collect all five beautiful covers of this special collector's edition.
 Read complete
When a magazine is planned to target a niche segment but put content to attract everybody in it then a de-focused and confused magazine takes birth. The same is happened with 'fashion n lifestyle' magazine LA SPPA which is recently launched by a Heera Zhaveraat group enterprise.             
Read complete 



Keeping their target audience in mind, content doesn’t impress much. This 64 pager magazine carrying a very less number of useful & practical articles which leave a reader more informed or educated behind. Read complete



Its time to get more and more niche! You can’t talk about fashion, style, beauty, hair… everything at once; you need to give enough space to every aspect to let it spread & grow. For that reason perhaps, in recent months a few of very niche interests magazines are launched in India and HAIR is one of them. Read complete



Just two years old, India’s first exclusive magazine on mobile phones ‘My Mobile’ has launched its Hindi edition with the same name this month as a beta issue. This beta issue is available on selected shops at Rs.25. Read complete



A perfect bound magazine of 82 pages, priced at Rs.50, is having a very nice picture of Deepika Padukone on the cover. Master-head is also attractive. But the cover design is poor because of badly placed & illogically presented cover stories on it. Read complete



Editorial content wise inaugural issue of CIO-D is looking quite informative though its design & presentation could have even better but unfortunately it always take back seat for almost every B2B magazine and so is with CIO-D.
Read complete

Ready Recknoer’ is a 184 pager perfect bound special magazine which is carrying in depth, incisive study of advertising trends in 20 different genres of Indian Magazines. 
It also looks at the global magazine publishing.  Read complete
...people who love to read about celebs, want to look their pictures when they are on holidays or dating or breaking or partying… they would definitely love this magazine because of one, exclusive reporting and second, big sized glossy paper of the magazine. I personally feel that reporting and pictures may be exclusive in HELLO! but the presentation, layout and designing could be far better than it is. Read complete



...idea of putting the image of World Cup on the cover of the inaugural issue is just gone into the drain. And as it is, the design of cover is poor and so unprofessional that it just can’t attract a reader on news stand. There are lods of unnecessary design elements on the cover which are making the cover congested. Read complete



Another thing I liked is that they have conceived articles from various different genre but they have beautifully crafted them around the theme of the magazine- 'marriages' only whether its about style, or about make-up or about skin care or about places or about entertainment or health or about shopping… everything is either bride focused or marriage centric. Read complete



Inaugural issue is carrying four stories on the cover and three out of them are carrying the word 'Marriage' in it, which shows how marriage centric this magazine is! Cover image is good but they could have design it better and could have utilize cover space smartly.  Read complete  



150-page magazine is priced at Rs. 50 in the size of Readers Digest and I think it’s perfect balance of price and information. Inaugural issue is carrying lods of useful articles including cover story- 'Save your Heart Now-A complete plan'. Other interesting articles are- 'Flatten your belly in 9 easy moves', 'Get new body- Step by Step', '6 powerfoods every woman needs' and 'Turn the clock back- 35 going on 25' which are definitely going to appeal their target audience. Read complete 

Most disappointing is the paper quality of the 112 pages' magazine which is not better than even a local news paper's paper quality. Whole magazine is poorly printed in mono black color and screen shots are horribly faded that no one can see what is shown there. And readers will be feeling cheated as they don’t expect such a bad product from the brand digit.



Time Out Mumbai is an entertainment and lifestyle magazine that showcases reviews and previews of Mumbai’s art, books, children, dance, health and spirituality, film, television, radio, music, nightlife, sports, restaurants & eating out and shopping services. It comprehensively guides readers through the fascinating range of entertainment and cultural opportunities that exist in Mumbai. Time Out Mumbai features witty, intelligent reviews and previews and comprehensive, accurate listings. Read complete























Its been quite some time when I wrote to you on this forum and few of you are teasing me- Kya hua Virdi, aajkal kuchh naya nahin ho raha kya market mein? Its not that there nothing is happening in the magazines world, in fact lots of specials / anniversaries are happening these days. Most of the magazines create some or the other special in their Dec/Jan issues. Read complete

 

I am talking about the magazine- &. that was launched in Miami, Amsterdam, Dubai and India a few months ago only, well in last September '06 precisely at cover price of Rs. 150 (Indian Edition). And recently its latest issue of 210 pages (broad size) is released in Indian market at cover price of Rs. 100 with a publisher's note that they have decided to make it a monthly magazine. Read complete 


Despite of being a consumer magazine, it is carrying B2B kind of cover story and that too in its inaugural issue!! Poorly done product reviews are presented badly. Same is with other articles like- game reviews, features, tips, add-ons etc…all are disconnected to the reality. I can't see any reason, why would this magazine be appreciated by any mobile phone buyer and that too a 52 page magazine at cover price of Rs.50?? No way!
Read complete



BW is carrying the cover story- "In 25 years…" where they looked back over last 25 years of changing faces of Indian business, problems & solutions and economy. 
Well, it becomes very easy to create such a compilation of last years when you have a huge bank of your previous issues (the way BW had 25 years or 52 weeks' issues per years) on the other hand it fails also to structure the complied content to build a nicely crafted and focused issue. Read complete

HAUTE: At a glance, this broad sized magazine gives me a mix feeling to like and dislike it. I like the wide range of articles/write-ups/feature they have put in the first issue- 34 plus and that too within 144 pages only (including ads). Its gives a feel of lots of reading material for a reader but obviously the kind of paper and content-pictures they have, they could do better production and design-layout also. In some articles it's done beautifully but in some articles it's inconsistent. May be, it's because of the first issue and they don’t have any proper style sheet yet. Read complete


It may be a good idea of publishing an issue with different covers for different TG sometimes, but it must be well thought, well calculated and well executed. Do you remember one of my mails in which I have mentioned the goofup in the Spine of MAXIM India. They had repeated the previous month’s spine in the next months cover. It wasn’t a small mistake because due to this mistake their complete plan for the year went into the drain. Read complete

Its in the continuation of my last post about split covers, Redbook also changes its cover for different reader. And the change will depend upon various things like, the geographical area, where do you live in the country, whether you are a news stand buyer or a subscriber, whether you want to buy low price edition and so on… Read complete



Publishers are trying double or Triple or Quadruple covers to attract news stand buyers. More and More magazines are going for this approach of giving multiple 
covers to the readers in the hopes that-
1. at least any of the cover will appeal to someone OR
2. someone will buy more than one cover 
with same content ;-) Read complete

Inaugural issue of G2 is looking good…but not great. Good, because of size and paper for sure, but cover design is poor. Cover girl Hrishitaa Bhatt is looking good but designer has spoiled the beautiful picture by putting other objects very badly on the cover. Anyways it doesn’t go along with the philosophy of the magazine itself!!! At least in the inaugural issue, they should take care of the positioning of this magazine which is going to be- a magazine about successful gujratis (ad parsis also) they have put Hrishitaa (?) on the cover as Smart & Sassy!! Master head is also looks like ‘GQ’ magazine’s mast head. Read complete

THE VOICE: I saw a unique title- “THE VOICE”, which was in written in Hindi script for a Hindi Edition of an existing English magazine- “COURAGE”. I can understand that if one magazine in English is already established in the market and has got a decent brand recall by name itself, its always good to keep the same name for its Hindi Edition, But just cant see any reason to keep it different and that too not in Hindi?? Interestingly, both the editions of this magazine, English and Hindi, were launched at the same time last year and are kept the same cover price- Rs 20. Read complete


The word “Information Technology” is become so broad now a days that it’s almost impossible to manage the content structure for any monthly magazine like ‘IT’. You might be aware that “I.T.-Information Technology” is published by EFY Enterprises Pvt. Ltd., who is also publisher of- Electronics for You, BenefIT, Linux for you, ePOWER, Facts for you etc. Read complete



In this way, inaugural issue is carrying 36 features/articles apart from the regular sections/columns. Magazine's content richness starts right from the cover which is carrying 15 different stories on it and one big picture of Sameer Sharma, a model. Though, we are not used to see this kind of text heavy covers on one hand, but here, after going through the issue, it doesn’t look over-written. It seems justified. Read complete



We have seen Outlook weekly’s 10th anniversary issue was Giant and it was superb in terms of editorial content. On the contrary, India Today hasn’t reached even closer to the quality of Outlook’s specials. Read complete



CONFETTI: There are few other magazines already there in this space but only one or two are the popular one which you can recall, like- “Life Positive”, “Osho Times”, “Harmony” etc. CONFETTI is also carrying the same content in different sections- Love, Life, Lust, Relationships, health, for Him, for Her etc. Read Complete


Well, PCW is trying hard to get back its reputation & position which it had one and half decades before. In this mega issue, they have managed to bag around 45 pages of ads along with some good deal with Google. That’s why beautiful & notable packaging of this issue has branding of Google on this face & back of the pack. Every issue is also carrying Google Adword’s coupon worth Rs.1000.
Read Complete

THE SUNDAY INDIAN:  In the last few years, we have seen lots of new arrivals of news based ventures in news papers, magazines and TV channels, Arindam is also trying his luck in the same. His latest venture is launched two days back in the form of a weekly News magazine- THE SUNDAY INDIAN. This is world’s first magazine which launched simultaneously in five different languages- English, Hindi, Bangla, Tamil and Gujarati. His 68 men edit team is headed by Sharad Gupta & Vijay Simha. Other names are- A. Sandeep, Sutanu Guru, Prasoon Majumdar, Prashanto Banerji and Malay Chaudhuri. Read Complete


Its about celebrating your birthday four times in a year and getting more n more gifts from others. As long as throwing a birthday party is profitable enough, I don’t think it’s a bad practice. If your guests are happily ready to come in your party and they are not coming empty hands, they are bringing gifts for you, keep celebrating more anniversaries or special occasions. Read Complete



Just got the chance to have a look on the latest (October 2006) issue of BI. It is really a wonderful & clearly noticeable makeover, exactly the way it should be. Not only cosmetically but editorially also, right starting from Editorial to Resource Zone, every section is clearly face lifted. Read Complete



Other interesting sections/columns are Stylish Traveler, Insider, Update & Strategies. Inaugural issue is carrying a special report on “T+L’s Business Travel guide” which gives an overview of coolest travel accessories and their optimum usage. In this section, technical contributor is Rajiv Makhni, who also hosts two Tele shows on NDTV named- Gadget Guru & Digital. In the same issue, ‘Strategies’ is helping you to plan a last-minute trip to England, including booking tips, flight maps, road signs, Driving rules guide, shopping guide etc. Read Complete

BT MORE: Last week another lifestyle magazine, BT MORE is launched by the Living Media India Ltd. Mr. Purie position this magazine as a magazine which will keep readers informed about the trends & the products that affect their lifestyle both at work and home. Every issue will be theme based.
Read Complete
...Apart of these, major attraction is one of the cover stories. It's about The Tricks Dealers Play On Buyers. Needless to say that its BUYER'S GUIDE is extremely redesigned, self explained and more informative such that its not only containing the facts & figures with prices, but it also carrying buying tips & selling tips, how to use buyer's guide, DOs & DONTs to get the best deal. Read Complete



American Express Publishing Corporation- http://www.travelandleisure.com/  Indian version is ready to be launched in August by Media Transasia India Publication (also the publisher of Swagat, Golf Style, Discover India, Architecture + Design, Indian Design & Interior and National Review- closed now). Read Complete



DANGER FOR SPECIAL INTEREST MAGAZINES: We often forget to recognize our biggest competitor in this exercise who is eating our market share very calmly, our readers as well as our revenues. And that is main stream print media- News Papers, who are serving the same kind of content in the form of weekly supplements or regular sections or special features to the same audience; to “our readers”, for those we claim (rather THINK!) that they are very loyal to us, they can’t leave us…! Read Complete


In a way, it looks fine that they are so planned that they could made cover well in advance and they can market as well. I think, they went one step further and they printed actual cover for entire print run in advance! Well till now, everything looks perfect & smooth going.
 Read Complete


This week, INDIA TODAY has completed its 30 years long journey and come up with 186 pages heavy 30th Anniversary issue. Again, Its good, its collector’s issue (as they claim), but despite of being a leading media house, big brand, long existing credibility, it’s not at par where Outlook’s was. Yes, “India Today” has put lots of efforts to compile many 30s like- 30 Golden Moments, 30 Famous Quotes... Read Complete



READER'S DIGEST: Looking at the content & design, its really a collector’s issue ;-) You should keep this issue always in front of your eyes to remember that these things you should NOT do in your magazine. Same is with the design & layout. It can be used as reference book for every designer to NOT to follow the things. Cover is equally poor. I know, RD regular is also not known for great covers, but here its worse. Badly laid out & placed cover stories and other elements on the cover…its horrible! Read Complete


SUPREMACY: If everything is covered, they call it- General Interest Magazine. Publisher Sunjeev Maheshwari has made his Hat-Trick this week with the launch of their third publication in six months duration- SUPREMACY. It covers- Everything! It targets- well, Everybody! 

Read Complete


He has repeated the same background on the spine, which was already, used in two issues back. And this is not the mistake whose impact will remain within this issue only, but it has swiped their ‘long term’ idea which they were planning for the entire year… Read Complete



You might remember that Outlook has done same remarkable job in 10th anniversary issue of Outlook weekly. That issue was really a collector’s issue for everyone who is in the journalism. It was good collection of classic writings from various journalism gurus. I think, Outlook is doing excellent work when it comes to some special or compilation or anniversary issue. Read Complete



You might be aware that Marie Claire is already being published in 25 countries and the Indian edition is launched by Outlook Group. Inaugural Issue is consisting of 228 pages at the cover price of 50Rs. Inaugural issue is having Preity Zinta on the cover. (Do you remember, agencyfaq was running a contest last month for guessing the cover girl for the inaugural issue?).  Read Complete



Design is super! It has newness & shows the creativity, which simply makes the daring statement about the product. It is good example of where creativity goes beyond templates and still stays within the boundaries of the brand. Read Complete



After the great success of that particular issue, another HULK sized issue of this mega-zine is released last week. This issue is superb in terms of visibility having Koena on the cover. You just can’t miss it on news stand even if you are not from its core audience. It works like POP by itself. Read Complete



You might be aware that Outlook Business was launched last fortnight at the price of 15Rs and the second issue of the same is now on stand. First issue was consisting of 108 pages (perhaps because it was inaugural issue) and latest one is carrying 88 pages only. Read Complete



...I can’t see this as a great content package. Similar to other publications (Cineblitz, Hi!) from the same media house, it also has poor production quality, poor design & layout. I don’t feel that its phoren content will appeal to our desi janata. Can you believe that inaugural issue of OK! India has phoren celebrity on the cover-Jennifer Anniston and the cover story is – ‘Brad made me feel Secure’!!! 

Read Complete


Both the issues are having black (or blackish) background on the cover. Feb issue’s cover model was Kareena Kapoor and this time they have Katrina on the cover, but both in the black clothing. Apart from these two prominent components, the text on the cover is put as per the grid so it doesn’t create any differentiation. Similarly, Top band is exactly same in the both and that too in the same color. Read Complete

Even in India, our two mass media publication friends have also realized the power of putting SEX on the cover in some or the other context… And that’s why only India Today & Outlook weekly have been doing unnecessary surveys every year to sell their products by putting such headlines/pictures on the cover…and everybody’s happy from the publisher to news-stand guy, to the reader… Read Complete



You might be aware of that after the launch of Indian MAXIM for Men, now its turn of Marie Claire to step into India for Women.  Read Complete









G.S.Virdi

aka MAGAZINE SINGH 'VIRDI'CT

300+ magazines reviewed so far...

Areas of Competency 

  • Sense of Content Business
  • Content Conceptualization & Development
  • Management & Reversion of Content
  • Understanding of Publication Business
  • Processes & Technologies of Publishing / Web / Multimedia
  • Understanding of Target Audience
  • Ability of Competitive Research & Critical Analysis
  • Efficient & Effective Resource Management (Human & Infrastructure)
  • Dynamic & Pleasant team person
  • Mentoring team members

Projects

  • Content structure for monthly magazine- Photo Imaging
  • Editorial structure for a fortnightly TV guide magazine
  • 360 degree content plan for a monthly yoga magazine
  • Detailed content structure & plan for yahoo hindi 
  • Editorial comparision of women magazines in hindi
  • A unique celebrity chat show for TV
  • Newspaper digital life style supplement
  • Editorial structure for zdnet hindi
  • Editorial plan for digit hindi
  • Content structure for what car in hindi
  • Analysis of content structure for overdrive
  • Ad analysis for hindi news papers
  • Ad-ed ratio analysis for around 50 hindi magazines
  • Content syndication plan with various news papers
  • Ad analysis for india today hindi vs english
  • Critical Analysis of Aha Zindagi- a life style magazine in hindi
  • Site redesign for naukriguru.com


Your Appreciation Matters 


“…your name should be MAGAZINE SINGH ‘VIRDI’CT”

COLLEAGUES, FRIENDS, all the WELL WISHERS

.

“Nice work Virdi, I really like and follow it regularly. In fact I bought the issue of Lonely Planet Magazine after reading your review only.


Sai, 

Dy. Managing Director, ITP Publishing India.


"Interesting. Thks.
…Very useful stuff. Thks.

…Splendid work. And a good way to communicate the message to the team.

…Very interesting observations for making magazine even better!

…Good one. pl also see latest pc world and do an analysis quickly.

…Good Reviews Virdi. Keep contributing.”

Krishna TEwari, 

GM, SIPD, Infomedia India Ltd.

“Dear Virdi sir, it is a wonderful thing you have done to give a detailed review of new magazines. It is a very good learning platform for people in the business of communication.”

G.V. Sreekumar, 

Associate Professor, IIT Bombay


“Wonderful Virdi sir, I hope the concerned magazine publishers also read these reviews…”

Amrita Ganguly salian, 

Editor, Disney Adventures.


“Really good job... it was worth reading :)"

Rajat Sahu, 

Head Global Marketing, Microworld.

“Hi Virdi, I enjoy reading all your anecdotes. It is extremely useful to me. We are launching InformationWeek print edition in April. Looking forward to your valuable feedback on InformationWeek. As always, I value your inputs.

…Virdi has a lot of knowledge and experience in the publishing space.”

Brian Pereira, Exec. Editor, Informationweek India, UBM Group.


“Brilliant! Thanks so much for keeping me in mailing list. Awaiting the 10 page post mortem of Forbes India. Do send soon.”

Deepak Ajwani, Director Online, Forbes India, Network18.

 


“Absolutely correct Virdi, you are in sink with the current scenario, unfortunately some of the Editors and management are still in the Dinosaur era and will not change. Sad for they will become extinct or the will make the product defunct. Keep writing and posting.

...Thanks pal very interesting… Awaiting your view on Forbes. Well you seem to be now getting a lot of page views on Linkedin as a lot of my friends read your postings.”

Kaiser Faruqi, National Head – B2B, sulkha.com.


“Hey Virdi, I am going to enjoy this!! Cheers”

Senthil Chengalvarayan, Group Editor, Network18.


“Interesting stuff Virdi”

Nabjeet Ganguli, Head-Mkting & Busi. Dev., Reed Infomedia India Limited.


“Virdi, now we need the 'VIRDI'CT on the Indian edition of Stuff. Their issue is just out.”

Deepak Dhingra, Editor, T3 India.


“Really detailed & nice review - it is always a pleasure to read your words - thank for sharing. I will definitely look at the design perspectives you are pointing out. Humm... after reading your review, I think I need a serious re-look on the design once again!”

JAyan Narayanan, Sr. Creative Director, 9dot9 Media Pvt. Ltd.


“Thanks for the review! Could you give me some specifics on what you thought was wrong with the cover? 

Any other bits we could improve?”

Vardhan Kondvikar, Editor, Lonely Planet Magazine, WWM Media Pvt Ltd.


“Awesome reviews…Keep it up sir! Plan to publish these as a book”

Sunder Thiyagarajan, GM, Circulation & Subscription, Network18 Ltd.


“Virdi, Thanks for your regular updates on 'whats hot and whats not'...”

CHITRA PANDIT, Marketing Manager, Better Interior, Infomedia India Ltd.


“This is interesting. Was just wondering if you could do a compilation of all the magazines you review. It would give a lot of insight into what works and what does not for the magazines.”

Madhavan Pillai, Editor, Better Photography, Infomedia18.


“Quite useful info oops links. Highly appreciate your resourcefulness and sharing among the group.”

MAnas Bastia, Editor, SIPD (B2B), Infomedia18 Ltd.


“Welcome to the Editgroup!! And surely you jest when you say that that you wouldn't dare teach us anything--you have more experience in the editorial process than most people in the industry!

Friends, Virdi has had years of editorial experience in a very special area of publishing--that of formulating special interest titles in our national language, thereby resulting in far wider reach to our audiences across the nation. I've had the opportunity to work with him in a previous assignment and am confident that he will work his magic here at Infomedia as well. Believe me, there's plenty to be learnt from him in editorial process, brand positioning and content structure--if there's an intelligent Sardar, Virdi is the one!  ;-)”

Marco Angelo D’Souza, Editor, CHIP, Infomedia18 ltd.


“How come Virdi sahib, I don’t see your review of the Forbes India magazine.”

Dinesh Krishnan, Director Photography, Forbes India, Network18.


“Very interesting - and insightful!

...Virdi, Can you pull out a few magazines and see what's the best practice? Let's then standardise this for all our magazines.

Virdi + Team Overdrive! Well done. All credit to you!
...Thanks. Glad you liked it. Whats the virdict on the Careers360 mag? Keen to see your review!”

Prakash Iyer, Managing Director, Infomedia India Limited.


“I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.”

MARGARET LE VAN DOMINGuEZ, Artist and Designer.


“Great job sirji...”

KAUSHIK CHAKRAVORTY, Freelance Photographer.


“Virdi Sir, it was interesting to read your analysis, I did visit your site sometime back, great work…”

A.R.Iyer, Exec. Vice President, Infomedia18 Press.


“Dear Virdi, amazing compilation…U r cut above the class u have proved it again!!”

Micky Neelam Kachhap, Deputy Editor, Modern Medicare, Infomedia18 Ltd.


“Sirji, Can you please review the anniversary issue of CHIP. The feedback would certainly be useful.”

Punit Lodhaya, AM Operations, Alibaba.com, Network18 Ltd.


“Sir, where is your virdict on Vogue?”

Sajith Pai, Special Projects & New Initiatives, Infomedia18 Ltd.


“I found your insights and thoughts on the magazine very useful… The part I really loved about your review is of course the virdict at the end of it. Look forward to more such reviews on magazines.”

Surajit Agarwal, Managing Editor, CHIP & Tech2.com, Network18 Ltd.


“What do you make out of Forbes – India?

…Any magazine till date that received a five star rating from you?

…Many thanks for adding my personal ID for your reviews. Deeply appreciated.

…You can do me one favor, can you evaluate JCK (a very honest appraisal) in a similar fashion and show me your ranking?

…I can see huge amount of efforts in this. The presentation made perfect sense to me. I believe we at Reed have a lot to learn from this presentation :-)


Suresh Ramakrishnan, Head, Reed-Infomedia.


“I really admire how well you review each magazine. Why don’t you do that with our in-house magazines as well? Each team will really benefit from your evaluation. Me and Deepak would love if you could do an analysis of T3 whenever you’ve got free time.”

Trupti Ghag, Feature Editor, T3, Infomedia18 Ltd.


“I'm a regular reader of your blog. And basically wanted to send across the magazine I work for, it's called platform. we're a contemporary arts bi-monthly magazine. This is our 5th year in circulation, and it would be wonderful to hear your thoughts on the same.”

SHAHNAZ SIGANPORIA, Features Editor, Platform.



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