*notcot in design , 01:53

Worth Magazine: Redesign- 12.19.09

worthmain.jpg Worth: The Evolution of Financial Intelligence. There are two aspects to this article. Firstly the design - which was actually enticing enough to make me not only grab a copy and flip through it, but to then purchase it at its pricey 20$ price tag to further dive into its Monocle sized uncoated/matte velum glossy covered magazine and take pictures to share its interesting layout/design choices with you. So on the next page you’ll find many examples of some of my favorite visual details of this recently updated magazine.

The second aspect is the business of it ~ as you’ll see in the video and press releases from just a few months ago, this 18 year old magazine title was acquired by Sandow Media (of LUXE and New Beauty) in 2008 ~ and only 2 issues ago completely redesigned. Not only in look and feel, but also focus and revenue model. In a time where we are watching magazines close monthly, print dinosaurs falter, and online advertising still finding its legs (at least conceptually!) ~ Worth magazine has taken on an interesting concept lead by publisher Patrick Williams (from the Economist and Conde Nast’s Portfolio - which while also beautiful and infographic heavy, didn’t last long): “The Worth Leading Wealth Advisor Program” where essentially they have wealth advisors underwriting the profits of the magazine by having them thoroughly vetted, and if accepted they pay for an opportunity to write articles for the magazine and have 100 copies to distribute (to their clients and potential Worth future readers?). This is in addition to their advertisements as a revenue stream… and their bold move not to allow subscriptions (unless you are considered a high net worth reader and happen upon a free subscription), the only way to acquire Worth is to pay their $18.95 cover price. And Patrick even says in the Bloomberg interview that “We want to be known as the 20 buck magazine, which makes us the most expensive magazine in America.” Funny thing is when i first landed on their site, the most surprising usability issue i encountered was not being able to find a subscribe button, usually they are huge, flashing, or begging you to click them on magazine sites. I guess not being allowed to subscribe will make some want it even more…?

Business aside. Its a gorgeous magazine, and i am quite intrigued by their layouts and typographic decisions. The paper also feels stunning to hold in your hand, and it’s quite an interesting read… awaiting future issues to see if it holds up. Oh, and i’m smitten by the fact that they have lovely Object of Desire pages. See pics on the next page ~ as well as the Bloomberg video.

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Interesting interview on Bloomberg with Publisher Patrick Williams:

Press Release of Relaunch: New York, NY (May 21, 2009) - Sandow Media announced a total re-invention of the 18-year-old financial title Worth, including a new tagline: “The Evolution of Financial Intelligence.” The brand has undergone a complete transformation with an aim to better enlighten, inspire and serve a select group of high net worth individuals with an avid interest in the intelligent stewardship of their personal wealth. Featuring a cutting-edge design and compact format and printed on paper typically reserved for books, the magazine is geared to be an elegant, practical and portable resource for dynamic CEOs, entrepreneurs and investors.

“Most high net worth Americans are rethinking their investment strategies; this heightened interest makes it an excellent time to execute a completely new vision of Worth - an amazing brand with an 18-year legacy. We are very proud of the innovations reflected in this evolution,” said Adam I. Sandow, Chairman and CEO of Sandow Media.

Worth will be mailed to a proprietary high net worth database of 110,000 households in major markets, including: Manhattan, Westchester County, Fairfield County, Boston, Miami, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix-Scottsdale, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The exclusive Worth database was developed over a one-year period in consultation with leading database experts. After the first issue, recipients will receive Worth every two months starting in October.

The magazine will also be available on a limited basis at select newsstands with a cover price of $18.95 and via Sandow Media’s exclusive network of 60 Sandow-owned newsstands at leading private airports nationwide. (Sandow has an additional 100 private airports under contract with plans for further expansion in the coming year.) A rate base of 125,000 is guaranteed and the title will be audited by BPA.

New Editorial Focus Worth will address the relevant financial, legal and lifestyle issues unique to high net worth individuals. From stories about dynamic wealth creators to expert advice on wealth management, the magazine is organized into three chapters: ‘Make’ focuses on wealth creation and entrepreneurship; ‘Grow’ centers on wealth management and investing, and ‘Live’ highlights philanthropy, lifestyle and passion investing.

The Worth Website In conjunction with the print publication, Worth.com will launch June 1 with a focus on selecting and working with wealth advisors and attorneys.

The Worth Leading Wealth Advisor Program The debut issue also includes a new service from Worth, the “Worth Leading Wealth Advisors Program,” a vetted venue for top wealth and legal advisors nationwide. This section is designed to introduce some of the country’s leading wealth advisors and attorneys to Worth readers along with sound guidance on how to maximize advisor relationships. Advisors who apply for admission into the program are vetted by the Worth Leading Wealth Advisors team and experts at Paladin Registry led by founder Jack Waymire to help ensure advisor quality. In order to be considered for the Worth Leading Wealth Advisors Program, financial professionals must be willing to provide complete and full disclosure to investors so that independent Paladin analysts can thoroughly screen and evaluate their credentials, ethics and business practices. Once admitted, advisors pay a fee to be included.

About the Worth Management Team The publisher of Worth is Patrick D. C. Williams (formerly of The Economist and Conde Nast Portfolio); Richard Bradley (formerly of 02138 and George) is Editor in Chief, and Alison Parks (a veteran Worth executive formerly of Robb Report, Esquire and Southern Living) serves as General Manager.

About Sandow Media Sandow Media was founded by Adam I. Sandow in 2002. The company has focused its efforts to date on developing multi-channel, vertically integrated luxury brands. Sandow Media’s flagships include the powerhouse beauty brand NewBeauty magazine, which encompasses print, online and retail operations, and LUXE, the nation’s largest network of luxury home magazines. Worth was purchased by Sandow in February 2008 and in June of that same year Sandow Media purchased a leading magazine for watch collectors and enthusiasts, InSync Watches. In 2009, Sandow acquired Western Interiors, a 250,000-circulation leading design magazine. With offices in New York, Florida and Texas and 185 employees across the United States, Sandow Media produces over 60 publications annually and generates over a half million unique visitors per month to the company’s online properties.

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2 Notes

I receive this magazine gratis. I don’t think I’m a “high net worth reader” though. I’d like to know what their definition of “high net worth reader” is. I’d also like to know how they found out about me.

Spying on people who buy a few hundred shares of SPY?

----- Liza 21.12.09 10:36

At long last, a new design for revenue among the print media set. Whether a bit of a gimmick or a sustainable strategy, the new revenue mix should provide a great experiment. My questions about the magazine largely surround their relationships with the wealth managers—I wonder if the expectation is that Worth has the bargaining power, or whether they maintain a sales force that courts wealth managers?

I’ll have to grab a copy as well…just shy of the subscription requirement, I’m afraid.

----- Brian Peter 20.12.09 20:47

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