The name of the Real Simple is straight forward and to the point. As someone who has never picked up this magazine before, I always had a sense that I knew the magazine was simple, modern, and meant for someone who lived a hectic lifestyle. With that said, I believe this name is successful as the magazine truly is meant for the busy woman who wants simple tips with a clean and sophisticated look. I also think that putting the word ‘Real’ with ‘Simple’ makes it more legitimate and believable that the contents inside the magazine are actually simple.
The headlines used for the magazine are just like the name – to the point and no-nonsense. Typically the headlines are short, from three to six words. Subheads are used in the table of contents and often used in the FOB section. In the well, summaries are included under the headlines and are over fifteen words. An example of a headline is ‘Little Helpers’ in the FOB section with ‘six smart products to make your life easier’ as the subhead. The terminology is plain and straight forward.
Cutlines and captions
Cutlines are not used too much. They are often used in the well section to elaborate on images that are part of a feature story. This is common for a magazine to do. Real Simple seems to do this on stories that are geared towards home improvement. For example, one of the stories in the February 2019 issue focuses on home improvement, and one of the images has a cutline that describes the color choice for a wall that is in the image. As for captions, there are also not many captions as well. The magazine may have decided to not use too many captions or cutlines as they do not want to overload their readers.
Labels are not used as the magazine most likely does not want to add something extra which could overwhelm the busy reader.
Bylines and cutline credits
Bylines are typically placed at the beginning of each story with the words ‘Written by’ and then the name of the author. This may be because of the simple and sophisticated feeling of the magazine. The magazine may want to inform readers right away with who has written the piece they are about to read. The same thing goes for cutline credits. They are placed at the beginning of each story. For example, one of the stories in the well section in February 2019 issue has the headline, summary and then has ‘Written by NAME,’ ‘Photographs by NAME,’ and ‘Styling by NAME.’ This may be done to take up some white space at the beginning of the story and even out the space from the headline and summary. The size of bylines and cutline credits is smaller than the headline and summary.
Promos and refers
A brief promotion section is featured in the back of the book. Typically the promotion section is one or two pages and will have promotions on a product from a story within the magazine. Each product has a brief summary and includes the website where to find the promotion. Summaries of the products are basically stating what the products are and informs the readers in a plain and simple manner. Refers are also not really used except for the editor’s note. Promotions and refers may not be used too largely in the magazine as to not take away from content.
All of the sections and feature names are very straight forward. They are easy to understand and give the reader a sense of what to expect in that section. Some of the section names include, ‘what we love,’ ‘the realist,’ and ‘balance.’ The features section of the magazine is called ‘features’ and some of the headlines include ‘A Home That Makes You Smile,’ ‘Fresh Face Forward’ and ‘Find More Alone Time (Without Being Lonely).’ All words used have an association with the story or section, are easy to understand, and have a sense of stability.