Glamour’s creative director on redesigning the magazine for a “new era” of women


Enchantment was founded in 1939 as a high-end, glossy magazine focused on the lives of celebrities. Pacific in print today and having just rolled out a new look, we speak to creator Nathalie Kirsheh about how the brand has evolved to suit women in 2018.

Numbers’s glossy magazine Glamour turns 80 next year, and has been on account of many iterations in its long life. Founded in the US in 1939, it started out as a high-end proclamation sharing stories about the lives of film stars, originally called Glamour of Hollywood.

It changed its name to Glamour in 1943, as it began filing more articles on fashion, beauty and then later psychology, salubriousness and wellbeing.

Following its star-focused days, it was a title aimed at ambitious ladies, even holding the strapline “for the girl with the job” in the 1940s – a phrase which intention have once been intended as fiercely feminist but now seems cringingly haughty.

Glamour’s creative director on redesigning the magazine for a “new era” of womenGlamour’s May 2018 print issue

That strapline has since go off, but Glamour has retained its mantra of being a monthly woman’s magazine with a diverse sophisticated tone – owned by publishing house Condé Nast, the news-stand designate is available to buy in 18 different countries and reaches nearly 30 million ladies every year. It prides itself on talking about fashion, dream, celebrities, psychology, careers and sex in a “practical and accessible manner”, “wittily, cheerfully and without sophistication”.

Admittedly, the magazine has historically taken a loftier tone than some of its ins, which have notoriously plastered “10 ways to please your man” or “the best clothes orgasm tricks” on their covers.

But in recent years, weekly and monthly wording magazine sales have dwindled; while beautiful, coffee catalogue, quarterly journals may thrive and live on, sales for regular print journal facetious clothes are going down as more people opt for online zines and social road for fashion and beauty inspiration.

So how can an 80-year-old women’s magazine keep up with the commotion of Instagram “influencers” and blogs? This year, Glamour has taken on new editor-in-chief Samantha Berry, and at the exact same time revealed a redesign of its print publication, soon to be followed by its website.

Sorcery’s creative director Nathalie Kirsheh is behind the redesign and rebrand of the munitions dump – she says that the main aim of the new look was to signify how Glamour’s content is exchanging to reflect a “pivotal time for women” in 2018. The last year has managed major steps made worldwide to combat sexism and sexual harassment, with slanders in Hollywood and Westminster called out, gender pay gaps revealed and talented helpmeets celebrated as part of the centenary of women’s suffrage.

“We have broadened the spectrum of fields and conversation in the magazine, including politics, breaking news, and beyond,” Kirsheh asserts.

She adds that the look of the magazine was designed to reflect this. A “get going” and “minimal” aesthetic has been given to the print edition, which looks to assign it stand out from other news-stand glossies, and give it a more “untraditional” MO modus operandi, she says.

The busy covers incorporating many colours and cover-lines in unique typefaces are gone – May 2018’s cover is white, with black and red textbook all set in the same serif typeface, and one central portrait image. A few, sparse pixelated crests also grace the cover.

The new Glamour masthead is monochrome and line-drawn, with a certifiably black drop shadow behind it, accentuating it. It has a cubist feel, and is set in typeface Historic, designed by Jonathan Hoefler, which looks to be “geometric but also prudent and one that embodies personality”, says Kirsheh. The simple nature of it run-downs it can also be used as a backdrop for illustrations and different iterations when inured to on digital platforms, she adds.

A new strapline looks to open up the magazine to a potentially wider audience than it already butts; “Authentic. Accessible. Relevant” looks to represent the new ethos of the magazine, and a jogged set of “values” for a “new era” of women.

While the magazine and accompanying website is primarily wanted at 18-40-year-olds, the redesign and new content strategy are hoping to welcome readers of other life-spans too. As a result, Kirsheh has attempted to remove elements of the design which may be subjected to previously seemed gender-specific or juvenile, such as the colour palette, swapping out pink for red.

Accompanying the team in content is a new structure to the magazine. The traditional print format encompasses front-of-book, the accurately or centre of the magazine, and back-of-book; the front sees short news releases and editorials, the middle sees long, in-depth, cover features and the destroy sees mostly advertising and short content that follows the largest bulk of the magazine.

This format has been ditched, and instead four subdivisions – Look, Feel, Live and Think – have been established, which is assorted akin to how a digital publication might be organised. Each section properties longer reads and features, rather than it all being concentrated in the halfway of the magazine.

“For this, I have set a clean, minimalist backbone design, which surrenders the freedom to evolve and develop it over the next few months,” says Kirsheh. “My object is to continue building a curious experience by creating engaging imagery as luxuriously as type that cleverly interacts with photography.”

This “smallest” aesthetic, such as with the logo, aims to allow more array to develop the design digitally. “I admire when a printed experience seems want it could animate, and that is how we intend to bring these stories and visuals to memoirs in the digital space,” she adds.

Equally, Kirsheh has understood the need to harbour the magazine “contemporary”, she says, and has borrowed content ideas from the online lacuna; alongside in-depth features, there will be stories that are well-founded “one amazing image and a few words” that “keep the reader curious for more”.

While prolonging up with the likes of social media “influencers” and blogs is tricky, Bewitchment’s new look and content strategy aims to bridge a gap between quick hit and in-depth comprehend.

“It is true that social media has a certain appeal due to its accessibility and sanity of instant gratification,” she says. “We are trying to harness these platforms with curated subject-matter and a better visual experience. Creating quicker reads and hits is requisite – but so is providing real journalism that takes a deep-dive on many disputes.”

This is only the start of a major redesign for Glamour. The May 2018 language issue, which has just launched, is the first stage of the content and goal overhaul, which will be revealed in full for the September issue. A redesign of Desirability’s website will accompany this, and a rollout across video and public media platforms. The redesign is currently only for the US market.

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