Condé Nast Traveler: Language


The name “Condé Nast Traveler” is interesting. By putting the name of the media company in the title, the “Condé Nast” brand is attached to the magazine. That said, “Traveler” is almost 5 times larger in font than “Condé Nast” is. I feel this says a lot about audience. According to the media kit, the Condé Nast Traveler audience is over 50, well-educated, and typically quite busy, as well. Perhaps an older and busier audience is not looking for “cute” or clever names, and would prefer something more straightforward. This aligns with the information inside the magazine, as it is mostly short interviews that are very purpose-driven, meaning there is little to no “filler” material.


Headlines Used

This is an interesting topic to explore. The headlines used for regular department heads, sections, and articles that are regularly in the magazine every month are straight-forward, such as ” What to Wear” and “What to Buy”. Like the magazine title, they are very no-nonsense and short. However, the feature articles are different and highly varied. Some are, like the other headlines, very upfront and telling of what the story following it will be, such as “The Best Beaches of Italy”. Others are long-winded, such as “President Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Sidelines Airports- Sad!”. This headline is particularly interesting, because it takes a lot for a journalist to want to use an exclamation point. On top of that, a travel magazine made the decision to use their subject to take a strong political stance. There are almost always decks, and they are typically quite long. They will only be about one sentence, but they will be lengthy. This is probably due to the fact that because this magazine’s readers do not have lots of free time, I would not be surprised if many of them are not reading the full article, but that they only read the deck. Or, reading a strong deck might be their deciding factor on whether or not to read the full article. This may also be why the decks are so long.


Cutlines and Captions

Cutlines and captions are extremely short. They are not under each individual picture, as most pages have about two to three pictures. There is usually one single caption in the bottom left or right corner of the page that quickly says where the picture was taken, and who took them. They do not use full sentences here. Again, this is likely because the reader would like to quickly look at a picture and see where it is taken. It seems that a question editors must ask themselves in this magazine is whether or not each piece of information given is necessary for the reader to know.


There are no labels used. Again, this may be because the magazine finds them unnecessary.

Bylines and Credit Lines

Bylines in the magazine are quite large. In fact, they are usually as large as the headlines. Furthermore, they are in bold letters, so they are clearly high-priority to the editors. I wonder if some of these people are noted travel writers with reparations that the readers would recognize, making the writer very important.

I spoke about credit lines briefly in my previous post. Language used is very simplistic, and short with a quick “Photo courtesy of _____.”

Promos and Refers

Promos and references are used very rarely. The tagline to the magazine is “Truth in travel”, and Pilar Guzman, the Editor in Chief of the magazine recently sited that they would never do promotions or references that are not perfectly in line with their honest mission. Travel and food magazines are notorious for being money-hungry, so my opinion is that they want to stay away from this stigma. When they do promotions, they are very subtle and often worked in to a piece. For example, an article about the best food in Thailand will talk about the signature dishes, and mention only one or two restaurants that have these dishes, rather than one restaurant for each of the dishes.

Section/Department/Feature Names

All of these names are very simplistic and straight-forward. There is not much creativity, and once again, I attribute this to the magazine catering to an audience that might not be looking for anything too clever or quirky. The audience seems to want to find information quickly and easily, and I feel that this type of language serves that purpose well.