Magazine Self-Critique

How is your magazine perceived by the first–time reader? Does it make a strong first impression? Does it have a distinct personality that sets it apart? Does it draw in passive readers? 


A magazine should:

  • Reveal the meaningful or useful importance of every story
  • Use creativity to serve rather than amuse
  • Be a clear, navigable document
  • Respond to the readers’ needs
  • Consciously out–perform direct competitors
  • Be responsive to the changing competition for readers’ time
  • Follow the rules of clear communication except when it is appropriate to make a particular point

This PDF has the complete Q&A form The following questions are worded so that yes is always the right answer. The answers are evident but their rightness is debatable. There is no right or wrong in magazine making, only more or less effective. Effectiveness must be consciously chosen. These questions will help you consciously choose, after some discussion with your colleagues, how to make your magazine as effective as possible given your preferences and unique situation.

Developing your magazine’s personality Are you unique? Do you stand apart  from your competition? Do you look more valuable? Is what makes you special noticeable?

Wayfinding Are readers guided through information? Must they search, ever? Are the directions user-friendly?

Reasons for reading Do you challenge your readers to read? Do you make them dig for the good stuff? Do you really think they will?

Are you reader-friendly? Editorial attitude makes reading easy. You have to sell, sell, sell your content. That is why everything that can be made attractive, charming, and easy to absorb should be.