Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Bon Appétit Changes Logo


I'll leave my opinions out of this one. But I liked what this writer said:

The announcement by Bon Appétit that they were going to court younger readers by adjusting its logo was greeted with plenty of amusement earlier today, but the reality is even grimmer than it sounds: Not only is Bon Appétit trying to skew younger, but it’s trying to differentiate itself from other food magazines. The truth is that Bon Appétit will never be any hipper or friskier than it is, because no magazine about upscale entertaining can ever speak to people that don’t have big houses and plenty of time on their hands. Even among such magazines, Bon Appétit is the most boring, an ad-packed Nembutal calling to mind the "women's pages" where newspapers used to publish their party recipes. With the Food Network, the Internet, and a dozen more interesting magazines at their disposal, there's no way we can imagine someone under 40 reading Bon Appétit.

The current Bon App is wall-to-wall recipes: goat-cheese crostini with blood-orange marmalade, beef tenderloin with port sauce, chocolate-panna-cotta layer cake. There is some travel and restaurant stuff and a few token “fast easy fresh” recipes, but basically this is the same stuff Gourmet was publishing in the sixties, plus lemongrass. There should be more about chefs and trends and ingredients and culinary culture. Bon Appétit chronicles the same fine-dining ghetto that people have been running away from at full speed for the last ten years.

So is it possible for a cooking magazine to be hip and frisky? Chow tries, but we still think the original concept behind it, which was to be Maxim with food instead of girls, remains the great untried experiment. Once a magazine is a repository for recipes, it stops being exciting, unless someone figures out a way to attach it to the outside world. Bon Appétit is for people who eat in. No new typeface is going to fix that problem.


tigerfish said...

I do agree a bit. The new version looks "younger". The old version is more classic though.

Rasa Malaysia said...

Ouch I actually don't mind the new logo, I noticed it and that it does stand out from the other food magazines (Food & Wine, Gourmet, Cooking Light). I think the writer is a bit over critical. I am under 40 and I read Bon Appetit. In fact, out of the 3 mags above, I think BA's photography is the most minimalist and "contemporary." They have a lot of sort of Donna Hay kinds of photography, which I love!

The old logo is very classic look but the new ones is more chic, as Tigerfish said. What I do agree is that they need to be writing and talking about foods that younger people would want to eat, rather than the same old same old.