Magazine Consultant Helps Steer Sales Rise

A magazine that has just undergone a re-design by an Edinburgh-based editorial design consultant has enjoyed a ten per cent sales hike.

The first issue of new-look The Word – which is aimed at over-35 year-old music fans – is on the newsstands at the moment, and its re-design, by Matthew Ball, has sought to turn it into a “modern classic”, to match editor, Mark Ellon’s ambition to make The Word “a sophisticated and
beautiful fanzine” and to match its strapline: ‘Intelligent Life on Planet Rock’.

Says Ball: “In any re-design, you don’t want to upset your core readers. The new-look is tidier than before and there are more entry points into the stories – such as pull quotes, and better use of captions and sidebars. I’d like to think the re-design has played a part in the sales increase.”

Another of Ball’s recent re-designs is for Building Design – a weekly architects’ newspaper. Plus its website,

Editor, Amanda Baillieu, wanted a new look that “acknowledged a more confident architectural community and looked sophisticated while retaining a newsy, ‘now’ feel”. The paper now emphasises opinion and links to the website through out the new design. Since the relaunch, BDonline’s unique visitors have tripled.

Baillieu says: “Matthew was fantastic to work with. He wasn’t fazed by the fact we don’t have a large budget, and worked with the team to give us a design that is robust and fast to put together, but manages to develop BD by giving it a younger, more contemporary feel. The response has been great.”

Ball is currently working on the launch of an arts magazine for Norwegan newspaper, Dagens N