WSJ.:The New Standard of Luxury MagazinesSeptember 3, 2008
Reading The Wall Street Journal is normal. Wearing The Wall Street Journal is another story. The new WSJ., the magazine of The Wall Street Journal, does exactly that with its launch issue cover. Turning the pages of the newspaper into a “Moon Dress by Ronald Mouret” is the first of many glimpses of what this new magazine is going to be. Elegant, upscale and aimed at the “cream of the crop” of The Wall Street Journal readers, the magazine offers its readers a European look and feel from the cover all the way to the inside pages. The cover image echos the famous British ID magazine’s “one eye closed” image that appears on every cover of ID. Toned down cover typography makes the image jump at you from behind the metallic sliver ink that has become synonymous with luxury titles. (See the Interview magazine blog below.)
A unique table of contents adds to the intrigue of this new magazine. The departments are divided into Hunter and Gatherer instead of just listings of department heads. The feel of the publication reflects the readers the magazine is trying to attract. Tina Gaudoin, the British-imported editor-in-chief, opens her letter from the editor by stating, “Here’s what we know about you, the Wall Street Journal reader: You are smart, well-read, discerning about what you consume, opinionated and generous.” She adds, “At WSJ. we believe luxury is not about how you spend — it’s the way you live that counts.”
I asked Michael Rooney, the chief revenue officer at The Wall Street Journal, what makes WSJ. different than the rest of the luxury magazines. He responded, “I think the difference will be that it will have The Wall Street Journal DNA which is that we provide clarity to our readers about all issues… they come to us not just for the facts, but they come to us for what (the facts) mean.” Crystal clear clarity is what he really meant, because the content, the audience and the design of WSJ. is more than crystal clear in what they are trying to achieve.
WSJ. magazine is yet another welcomed new magazine bucking the trend that print is dead and the future is for something else. The audience of WSJ. was already there, the advertisers were already there, all what the folks at the Journal had to do was build the bridge that links the readers/customers to the advertisers…and they build one good “London” bridge… In fact, WSJ. is, to me, the new standard in luxury magazines and has become my standard (even after only one issue) in comparing other luxury magazines to.