Space_Field Notes_Sgambati

My publication of choice is Running Times. It is a print magazine distributed six times a year, every other month. It is 77/8” by 107/16” averaging 75 pages per issue. It’s the mature extension of the Runner’s World publication, which is distributed monthly, under Runner’s World Media Group. This publication services more seasoned and mature athletes. The gender is split male/female 60/40% and the median age is 45.3. Income and postgraduate study are also on the higher end (fig 1.)

Readership Statistics

fig. 1 // readership statistics

It makes sense that this is published less frequently than Runner’s World as the reader of Running Times is more likely to be an established professional with more experience running and a stricter schedule. The “alpha runner,” as they call it, will benefit more from highly tailored content delivered six times annually rather than a more frequent onslaught of tips, tricks, and advice offered in Runner’s World monthly. Statistics show Running Time’s has a very loyal audience with 71% of sales and readership coming directly from subscription. http://rw.runnersworld.com/mediakit/rt/circulation/circulation.html

Scan 2

fig. 2 // grid

fig 3. broken grid

fig 3. broken grid

The grid layout is fairly consistent throughout the publication. Margins a 3p0 around the all edges of the copy and large images generally fall in the top left corner of the spread. There is a three column grid at 10p6 for main content and a fourth at 6p9 for sidebar material. However, they are divided two to one flanking the smaller column (fig 2.) I would argue having the long, sinewy columns compliments the crispness of the imagery and the idea of the runner’s long legs. When the structure does break the grid, the proportions still feel appropriate to the rest of the magazine (fig 3.)

 

fig. 4 // contents

fig. 4 // contents

fig. 5 // issue narrative

fig. 5 // issue narrative

Each issue contains the following main sections: shorts, columns, owner’s manual, features, and racing– in that order (fig 4.) In addition, each issue is constructed around a central theme (fig 5.) It’s as though the whole publication has a narrative rather than a collection of different stories. I think is an important tool to keep readers engaged with the whole issue. The content is enhanced with clean photography, infographics, and entertaining illustrations. These are the devices that anchor the page and dictate where the copy will flank the spine of white space or sidebar on the spread. And I find it beneficial to the magazine that stories appear to be long and can comfortably fill the expanse of a spread. What I enjoy the most, in the Jan/Feb issue in particular, is the way the cover art plays with space. The layering of text and image give a sense of depth to the cover. That is perhaps something I would like to see seep into the magazine more.

joesgambati