MONTEREY, CA (BRAIN)—In addition to announcing its annual Editors’ Choice Awards at Sea Otter, Bicycling Magazine unveiled a new logo and a fresh look for the magazine there.
“This is the culmination of almost a year of deliberation and work to take it from concept to publication,” said Peter Flax, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, while thumbing through the June issue delivered just hours prior to its Friday night reception.
Flax, who joined the magazine nine months ago from its sister publication Runner’s World, came to Bicycling with specific ideas to visually enhance the magazine. “My intent was to do a major redesign. This is not just a minor tweak; this is radically different,” said Flax, adding that the magazine’s last comprehensive redesign was in 2003.
Since then, he said, the cycling culture has become more authentic and timeless. He cited examples of roadies kitted up in a more stylish way and women riding city bikes in street clothes. “I felt the design and packaging of the magazine could be more sophisticated and upscale to reflect that trend,” said Flax.
The redesign also was informed by a market research study Bicycling commissioned of its subscribers, readers and prospective readers. Flax said while its readers are primarily road cyclists, more of them ride city bikes, commuter bikes and mountain bikes as well. As such, Bicycling will carefully expand its coverage to make cycling broader and more experiential. “We know our core reader has 4.5 bikes; I want them to have 5.5 bikes,” said Flax.
The new format emphasizes beautiful photography and longer form narrative storytelling such as The New Yorker might publish. Flax said that’s the unique advantage of the print medium versus the web. “We want print to inspire,” he said, adding that print frequency will remain 11 times a year.
Flax said Bicycling readers can expect more variety and more authenticity from its covers, with action photos instead of staged shots. “Bicycling had this really singular cover composition. We’re trying to mix it up more,” said Flax, noting that the cover has been upgraded to a heavier 100-pound stock.
Bicycling introduced four new regular columns with dependable voices, including racers Jens Voigt and Ted King, editor-at-large Bill Strickland and blogger, the Bike Snob. Other additions include a front-of-book service section called “Know How,” designed to help readers get more out of the sport; an industry news page; and a back-page department called “The Last Word.”
The revamped June issue hits newsstands the first week of May. Go to www.bicycling.com/redesignvideo for a behind-the-scenes look of the redesign.
Photo: Bicycling editor-in-chief Peter Flax and publisher Chris Lambiase