Just received my new January, 2008 Bon Appetit magazine and thought maybe I received a fake copy. I thought maybe there was a mistake – did I receive a copy of some shitty food magazine with the same name as my beloved Bon Appetit? What’s happening here? This impostor magazine looks like it’s trying to be ‘young’ and ‘fun’ and ‘different’ with it’s multicolored logo. It looks more like a Marta Stewart magazine with it’s boring/hackne yed perfect balance of pastel colors and use of space. NOOOOOOO!? Please god, please tell me Bon Appetit did not decide to go for a new logo, to go for an ‘update and sexy’ image? Unfortunately, the magazine has changed it’s look. This is bringing back bad memories of my time working in corporate NYC.
NOTE: If you don’t care about why I even have an opinion on this issue, don’t continue reading. I know this shouldn’t evoke so many emotions, but my time working in the magazine biz makes me care.
Years ago, before I woke up out of my corporate coma and left to pursue a job in the school system, I used to work for a very well-known “outdoors-man” magazine. As one of the biggest multimedia and publishing companies bought the magazines from the small company I was hired by, I heard the new corporate big-wigs whispering about how the magazine needed a change – it was time to ‘update’. These corporate dim-wits used words like (I swear to GOD I am not lying to you) “sexing up the mag” and “making it more fun” but still making sure it stays a “lifestyle mag” and a magazine so awesome “men keep it on their coffeetable”. BARF BARF BARF BARF BARF (sorry, I still have reactions to this). You can not convince me that there is any way in hell you can make fishing and camping and hunting and whatever else ‘sexy’ .
My point is that I may not be the best person to judge Bon Appetit’s change. I think past history has tainted my ability to judge this pretty meaningless change without judgment. All I know is when I look at that new logo, instead of thinking intelligent, strong, knowledgeable and sophisticated, I think mushy, boring, trying-too-hard-to-be-youthful-and-fun as well mainstream. I just don’t like it. I’m just hoping it’s contents won’t change along with it’s new look! I haven’t had time t read it yet, so I’ll let you know (unless you beat me to it!).
Anyone care or think I’m a crazy idiot for even posting this?
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13 thoughts on “Bon Appetit Mag “Makeover” – Love It or Leave It?”
i agree 100%!! as someone who works in marketing, in the music industry no less, i have many of the same feelings as you. which is why i have left every major label job, indie label job, privately owned marketing company etc. and just work for moe., who beat to their own drum.
i remember bon appetite from my childhood and i remember the lavish dinner parties my mother thru with that magazine opened on the counter, with little yellow pieces of paper slid into the pages of the recipes she was using (she would never turn down the corner and ruin the page). that is what this magazine should look like. to me the logo looks exactly like the real simple magazine, which has good tips and ideas, but is extremely bland and boring.
When did being elegant become a bad thing?
100% On the money!!! – What were they thinking – poor faxcimile of good design – VERY thin atempt at updating with some taste and style – leave it alone – now the selling and word spin will start on how we dont understand and we are missing its true intent – BA – go sell crazy some place else!!!
I think the old logo/masthead was much more in keeping with the audience for Bon Appetit. The new version looks more Food Network!
Right on, Deborah. I think you’ve really hit the nail on the head here – it’s like way too commercial and BORING. Bon Appetit readers don’t need to be entertained – they need to be enlightened! Food Network is no longer enlightening, it’s commercial, boring, trying to please everyone and losing it’s original core audience. God, I hope this isn’t the future for the magazine.
I agree with you … if it’s not broken … and BTW, have you read the editors letters explaining the debut of the new logo? Is it just me or do they come across as uncomfortable and out of sync as this new logo makes the readers feel? See below:
“Here at Bon Appétit we love our readers as much as we love our food, and so just in time for the holiday season, we have some special plans in the works for you. It begins with a new logo that will debut with the January issue—in mailboxes and on newsstands soon. I’m excited about it, and I hope that you are, too. I know you’ll be excited about what you’ll find inside the magazine: restaurant and wine finds, info about new ingredients, kitchen tools, techniques, tips from the test kitchen, and great photography that brings it all alive. Not to mention all the delicious, easy-to-make classics with a modern twist that are the heart and soul of Bon Appétit. You can read more about the new logo here and please let me know what you think.
Barbara Fairchild, Editor-in-Chief”
Interesting, Foodflirt… you may have inspired me to write Babs and send her this link! I’m not the only one that’s not ‘jazzed’ about it!! Thanks for the comment!
I don’t mind the logo change at ba–it’s the content part that will force me to let my subscription lapse. Just look at the covers of three of the new issues–pudding pie, sandwich, cupcakes—Pu-lease!
You know what, Kay, I couldn’t agree with you more. My mouth almost dropped when I saw that stupid-ass SANDWICH on the front cover. Are you kidding me? I can’t stand ‘recipes’ that don’t need a recipe. When you can make it by reading the title of the dish or looking at a picture, don’t friggin’ put it on the cover of a once-great cooking magazine for people who want to be challenged. It’s totally turning into Rachel Ray and I’m disgusted. – amy
I’m thinking of subscribing to either Bon Apetit, Food and Wine or Gourmet. I take it I should stay the hell away from BA?
I’ll be honest with you… if you are a food culture and authentic food freak, the number one magazine you MUST subscribe to is Saveur. I get the chills (as cheesy as that sounds) with every issue.
Gourmet is pretty good and hasn’t completely sold out to the Food Network crowd yet, but Bon Appetit, I will not renew when my subscription ends soon – they are just uninspiring now. The last 3 covers had a sandwich on the cover, followed by a cupcake and this month has a freaking burger. all delicious, i’m sure, but inspiring… no. not a fan.
food and wine seems pretty good although i don’t subscribe. they are bit too hoity-toity for my liking, but they have some great recipes. i think saveur, gourmet and food and wine would be good choices. oh and have you heard of ‘everyday w/ rachel ray’??? that one kicks ass too!!!! learn how to make beefy macaroni bake!!
Ooh, what a beautiful mag! I got me a subscription to both Gourmet and Saveur for only $25. I’m so excited.
While I was getting those they kept recommending “Everyday with Rachael Ray” to me because that’s what everybody else got. I think I might get her mag too because I want to make Rachael’s buffalo chicken chili with blue cheese, not-sagna, not-tuna casserole (they are all actual recipes). Haha yeah right. Why would anyone subscribe to a magazine with “recipes” that are easily google-able? I agree with you that meals like burgers/sandwiches/casseroles – where you’re doing more assembling than cooking – do not constitute a recipe. Sorry but I can’t stop snarking about this woman.
If either of those mags decide to pander to the RR crowd I will make a point to call their customer service, bitch and whine, and cancel my freaking subscribtion.
Great work! I also have my own blog I just find it hard to write quality content like this.
I guess I really don’t have the time.