Challenge:

In 2013, Reader’s Digest found themselves at a crossroads. Having recently undergone two bankruptcies and reorganizations, the media company needed a new direction. Consumer subscriptions had been falling year after year. But this new direction still needed to leverage the ethos of Reader’s Digest brand. A brand that has been an integral part of the fabric of America.

Strategy:

We positioned the brand as an “island of positivity in a sea of snark” giving readers a needed break from gossip and cynicism. Our key insight was that people actually crave a break from this nonstop vitriol. We needed to maintain the brand’s integrity of positive, up lifting reads, while broadening the base to appeal to today’s contemporary readers thus increasing subscriptions.

Solution:

Our solution was multifaceted: first, redesign the logo in the style of the iconic masthead of the 1950s to reinforce the brand’s heritage.  Second, redesign the interior pages to be elevated and timeless, containing friendly, accessible “bit size” content – and moving away from the pop/tabloid magazine feel.  And third, remind people of just how good the reads actually are through humorous advertising.

As the masthead got redesigned, so did the cover. We brought back the titles of the interior reads to the forefront, but now inspired by a “newsfeed” design. We also introduced a flap cover. The flap, once removed can now function as a bookmark and subliminal suggest to consumers to “Read the Digest”. This new bookmark flap also created a device that allows the magazine to feel more collectable while adding another monetization/ad space opportunity.

What better way to update an American icon than by redesigning a logo inspired by it’s literary past. Updating the editorial design to reflect today’s readers and introducing it all to consumers with a tongue and cheek advertising campaign.

Success: 

The makeover along with the new campaign raised new orders by 35% among all acquisition channel sources including direct mail, digital subscriptions and newsstand sales.

 

Creative Director: Ty Wong

Editor-in-Chief: Liz Vaccariello at Reader’s Digest

Designed at DiMassimo Goldstein in 2014

Case Study

Re-invigorating Reader’s Digest

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Result
Before the Rebranding

How the magazine looked like before the new design launched in 2014.

Inspiration

Simple and elegant look of Reader’s Digest in its glory days of 1950s. 

Process

Research, concept development, wireframes, prototypes, high fidelity mock-ups, user testings and weekly check-in sessions with the Editor-in-chief and the creative director at Reader’s Digest.

Logo Design

 Redesign of the logo for all global editions

Final Design

Logo, cover and interior layout design examples

Global Launching Events