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Entry 5: Magazine Research Dicovery

It's pretty obvious from researching BusinessWeek what they consider important and where their bucks go.

As a creative I may be a little bias, but if what BusinessWeek charges for their advertising is any indication, they are raking in the dough and none of it is going to improve upon their communication. But I may just be a naive college student; I believe this is how most corporations are being run.

According to the Ulrich Periodicals Directory, BusinessWeek charges approximately $85,000 for a full page, color ad. It doesn't specify the run time, but this is a weekly publication. Its my belief that the majority of a magazines revenue would come from return readers/subscribers, but that advertising money obviously isn't going into the presentation of the magazine (maybe to the highly paid writers? Big wigs? who knows). I think this may go back to the cold hard truth that the "money people" (read "people in charge") don't value strong communication design, because it doesn't provide a tangible return. If a company spends $200,000 on a design overhaul in print/web/identity/presence, and their readership increases 15%, that monetary gain alone doesn't offest the investment. They can't even say what it was that increased readership, maybe they had more interesting articles? Maybe people had more disposable income? But the value of the redesign will show itself in years to come, it'll become more popular, etc.

Basically, my magazine research has reaffirmed my belief that in-house designers are seen as a service, rather than a professional in communication arts, and are paid and respected as such. I hope that I can be proven wrong, because there are cushy in-house jobs to go for, but it seems I need to get my foot into a design firm to be taken seriously in the future.

So lookout BusinessWeek, in the land of 12pt body text and broken columns, the designer is king.