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Does Size Really Matter?

September usually means a number of things:

  • My beloved Red Sox are battling for a chance at the playoffs
  • We are 2-3 weeks away from the fourth quarter which typically means we’ll be very busy until December 22
  • The leaves are about to turn in the northeast and snow is right around the corner.

And the mail gets a little heavier than normal—actually much heavier…literally!

Chances are a number of people don’t know what I am referring to. You see, September 8-15 is fashion week in New York. Not only that, it’s also time for the fall edition for fashion magazines. Below is a list of the top six in alphabetical order and their total page count and weight:

Magazine Pages Weight
Harper's Bazaar
504 2 lbs. 3.3 ounces
560 2 lbs. 9.6 ounces
404 1 lbs. 11.3 ounces
604 2 lbs. 15.7 ounces
386 1 lb. 11.3 ounces
754 3 lbs. 9.5 ounces

Vogue is the heaviest at 3 lbs. 9.5 oz . They are so proud of the total page count that they list the number of pages on the front cover in a very large font.

I will admit I can’t even imagine how long it would take for me to read a magazine with that many pages. I realize that most of those magazines are filled with advertising, but it would still take me a few weeks—if not more—to read it cover to cover.

In today’s society, most people would say that they have less free time now than they ever did.

If that is the case:

  • Are people actually choosing Lucky Magazine which has the least amount of pages?
  • Can people really process 754 pages? Or is it way overboard?

In the research industry back in the eighties, most suppliers would send their clients very large reports—in fact, the bigger the better. We all know that has changed and now most clients will only read an executive summary.

Why hasn’t the fashion industry changed?

  • Is it because the readers need and expect the large amount of ads to stay connected to the latest and greatest fashions?
  • Is it because the ad revenue is so large that the magazine couldn’t thrive without the huge volume of ads?
  • Is it because I am a guy and just don’t get the fashion world?

Maybe I just don’t get it. Wouldn’t it be more cost effective and have much more of an impact to send a 100 page magazine with a CD that has models wearing the latest fashions? It could be very interactive, still have ads and most people would probably appreciate the creativity and technology—and maybe even feel closer to the action, models and fashions that designers are trying to start or sell.

I look forward to your thoughts.

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