- July 2017
- November 2017
- December 2017/January 2018
- January 2018 Special Issue: The Foods We Crave
The purpose of any magazine or book cover is to attract attention, which can be completed numerous ways. Bon Appétit does so by images and simplicity. The covers typically feature beautiful images of food, which entices the reader to open the magazine to learn how to achieve the deliciousness on the cover. The nameplate is all lowercase, large, and at the top of the cover. The color depends on the cover image, but it is either white, black, or gray. They use a round serif font, which adds to the fun and inviting but mature tone. The folio on the cover is left blank. The folio inside the magazine displays page numbers and the issue month and year. The number of inside stories varies issue to issue.
Each issue has a subtitle on what the entire issue is about, like Thanksgiving Lessons or Take It Outside + Cook Like a Pro. When inside stories are present, they include page numbers. They are usually placed in a fun way, like shaped around an image or with arrows pointing to the part of the cover that illustrates the story. However, for the January 2018 special issue, there are no inside stories on the cover. For the most part, Bon Appétit does well with its hierarchy of information on the cover. The image of food is where the eye goes to first, which is intentional because that’s what Bon Appétit wants readers to remember. The large nameplate is where the eye goes second and then the eye moves down the page. Sometimes, like with the Thanksgiving issue, the eye goes directly down to the subtitle. This is similar to the December 2017/January 2018 issue because although there are inside stories above the magazine name, the eye is still drawn to the magazine then down to the subtitle because its difference in font and size. Other times, like with the July 2017 issue, the eye moves right, as it does naturally, but the color of the subtitle helps. Each issue’s cover is a little different from the last, but there’s certain aspects other than the name itself that is consistent and creates the cohesive Bon Appétit brand. The fonts used in the magazine name and the inside stories are the same issue to issue. For the most part, the type of imagery is consistent as well. The covers spotlight a clear, appealing photo of food. Most of the time it is a bird’s eye view of a plate or table setting, but there are some instances of high/eye level angles, like with the Thanksgiving issue. Another key visual that is consistent is simplicity. The covers focus more on imagery than text.
The TOC appears very early in the magazine, with only two pages or so of ads before, and is one to two pages. It typically sits on top of an image to the right with a white text box behind the text. There are usually around 130 pages per magazine, however, special issues like the January 2018 issue is only about 100 pages. There are four sections in each TOC: features, starters, BA kitchen, and columns.
There are a few sections that are appear in each issue. R.S.V.P. is a reader request section. Last bite features a celebrity and what they’re making. There’s also Healthyish, City Guides, Dinner Tonight, Editor’s Letter, Recipe Index, and Sourcebook. Each section is labeled, typically on the top of the page either in title style or in tab style in the top left corner.