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27.4.06

blueprint grade?

blueprint

well, i grabbed myself a copy of blueprint yesterday and i thought it might be fun to see what those of you who've read it think. my 2 minute snap opinion? i worry it's trying to be too many things at once: martha stewart magazine, real simple, lucky and domino all rolled into one. it hits the high points of all 4 mags, but lacks the depth of each publication. i guess i didn't realize it was trying to be an all around "lifestyle" mag instead of something a bit more home centric, but my first impression was "i'll give it one more issue but probably not much more if it doesn't grab me". there were gorgeous shoe spreads mixed in with makeup stories and it just felt a little spread thin for my taste. i guess i've gotten spoiled and like my mags to be a bit more focused than that. what i'd love to see more of though is the classic martha project feature: how to reno a cabinet, how to redo your window garden, those sorts of things. there are a few of those and i think that's a fun direction in which to move, but so far, i was a little underwhelmed. i'd say it's a B, B- but probably only because i expected a big old A+. but hey, that's just my 2 cents. you guys? (i'll be out after 3 so all comments after that will appear when i get to chicago and get back in front of the laptop). click here for more info on blueprint.

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33 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't even seen the first issue yet but already I'm a little turned off. I decided to take them up on the offer of receiving my first issue FREE and then decided whether or not I wanted to pay for a subscription. Well, before they even sent me the FREE issue, I've already been mailed TWO invoices for $26.00 for a subscription of 6 issues!! I mailed the first one back with a big line across it and wrote "CANCEL" on it (as they explained to do on their website if I wasn't satisfied with the first issue) and then they followed up by sending a second invoice. Once I actually receive my first FREE issue, I'll let you know if it was actually worth all the paper work!

Laura

9:25 AM  
Blogger trudesign said...

I think that it was a really good mix. I enjoyed it. As soon as I was into something they were saying about decorating or DIY, they were on to health, which I thought was pretty cool.

9:26 AM  
Blogger caitlin said...

I feel the same way about it. It's a little too all over the place (a complaint i have about real simple as well...). I think I prefer my magazines to be really good at one thing (Dwell for design, Eating Well for food, In Style for clothes,etc...). None of this watering down business.

I signed up for the free first issue, but that's all i want, i fear...

9:30 AM  
Blogger jwh said...

anonymous... me, too!!!!!!!!!!!!
i thought it was just me... LOL...

i was just about to get on the phone to call and complain when i saw that grace had posted her grade on it... so i was curious what she thought about it... i would still like to receive the free issue before i decide...

10:13 AM  
Blogger Vajra said...

I've had the same experience as Laura. It's a terrible form of advertising to say evaluate and then pay but mean pay and then evaluate. I may pick it up at the newstand. But for now I'm happy with Dwell, Elle Home, Domino, my Mac mags, and Utne.

11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i just received it two days ago in mail (along with a bill the previous week which i threw out--did i need to read it?!) and i was impressed with a few ideas, but sorta didn't get a great feel for the mag. i loved the photo enlargement idea and i also bought the hunter wellies from the cover, ha! i wish there were more do it yourself home decorating projects that were really WOWish. i have gigantic walls and need cost effective ways to decorate them.

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Jessica said...

I 100% agree with you. I was so excited to get the issue in the mail and felt a little disappointed. I'm such a Domino lover that I was expecting something like that, I guess.

The book/movie section at the end really through me for a loop. So not Martha Stewart!

But, like you, I'm going to give it another try. Plus, I love the typography.

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Eliz said...

I signed up for the trial issue and got the bills, too. Total turn off. I am already close to capacity on my magazine reading (Lucky, Domino, In Style, Real Simple, Atlantic) that Blueprint is going to have be something special to make it to the nightstand on a regular basis. From what I hear, I might just pick up the occassional copy for a plane flight or something like that.

11:44 AM  
Blogger Stewf said...

Add one more to those who have received an invoice, but no issue. Sounds like they are having a little logistics trouble in their infancy.

12:28 PM  
Blogger vespabelle said...

add me to the legions of people who got bills instead of a free issue!

I miss the early Budget Living. Thankfully, I got my subscription for free and didn't lose anything when they folded.

12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blueprint is great. It has a breadth of topics and I think Martha Stewart is brave to introduce new editorial beats (fashion, beauty, health, and fitness). I like that it isn't completely market driven (like Lucky and Domino) and still has the Martha Stewart "how-to" element. Has anyone read the edit? It's smart, clever, and refreshing. I'd rather pick up one magazine that covers everything. Who has time to read every niche magazine? I think this magazine is going to be huge.

1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still waiting for my free issue, too. :(

2:27 PM  
Blogger jwh said...

i love domino... i am a magazine addict.. my mail carrier probably hates me... but one magazine that i found that does a good job of reporting on fashion, home, and beauty is shop, etc. http://www.shopetc.com/

3:13 PM  
Anonymous chatnoire said...

Another Billed before reading here! That really put a bad taste in my mouth for the magazine - I've been a MS Living subscriber for 2+ years, but was hoping this would be like that with a fresher, younger vibes (less pictures of Martha hobnobbing it with people in scarves and caftans) but Eh, I'm not sold. I did like the spread of paper/stationary though, because I am a sucker for pretty paper.

5:06 PM  
Blogger stuffed said...

You always get bills with trials. I was pleased that these bills were polite. They usually have a faux urgency to them .. almost as though they were composed by a collection agency.

I was disappointed by the shoes and makeup angle in the mag. I'm not the least bit interested in that tripe. There are many shallow beauty mags out there. I prefer a shallow focus on the home. LOL

5:43 PM  
Blogger halftortoise said...

i was looking forward to adding another magazine to my rotation but blueprint is not the one. i was disapointed by its lack of focus and overall cheesiness. i suppose i'm so spoiled by domino and dwell, but there is definitely room for other mags of its kind. maybe this could be your next venture Grace!

8:29 PM  
Blogger ginger said...

I posted my review of it here yesterday. I felt the same way - trying to do too many things, without doing many things really well. The whole deal with their signature martini recipe, "Show us a magazine without a signature drink, and we'll show you an uptight staff without priorities. (hiccup!)" made me think they were trying a wee bit hard to be hip...and the manners thing in the back, I thought, was a total lack of space. On the other hand, MSLO puts out really quality content, and I'm hoping that after the editorial team sees what the actual target audience (us) think about the magazine's first effort, they'll try to have future issues a bit more focused.

8:57 PM  
Anonymous Jill Lauck said...

I have to agree with lots of the comments made here. I was so excited to get my issue yesterday that I ran in to my apartment and began looking through it before I even took off my coat. As is often the case with MS Living, the things I liked best came in the second half of the magazine, not the first, which felt scattered. One small gripe I have is the cost of many things, too; similar to when Real Simple debuted many years ago, I loved loved loved the dresses they featured, but felt my heart sink when I realized my favorite was close to $1000. Not a pricetag I can consider lightly when there will be other things in a month I'm likely to want to purchase, too!

8:14 AM  
Blogger magnolia_mer said...

I received two invoices before my trial issue arrived. I sent one of them back marked 'CANCEL' after reviewing the issue. You're are correct, it's trying to do to many things at once. I still don't know what the aim of the mag is supposed to be, but I know it's a little pricey for a 6-month subscription. I'll stick to domino.

8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was anyone turned off by the insane number of hyphenated words? As a type enthusiast I found it amazingly distracting.

The overall mag was not what I was expecting either, but I have subscribed, and want to give it a year. Hopefully they will find their voice by then! More DIY projects ala Martha Stewart, but for the younger crowd. I hope!

12:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure what it's trying to accomplish, or even who the demographic is: younger than MS Living, approximately the same as Domino, older than ReadyMade. The design feature about the couple re-doing their house lost me: they went from a striped hotel lobby to a solid hotel lobby. And what's with the non-sequitor pull quotes?
I was hoping for an edgy shelter mag packed with Martha's do-able projects. Didn't come close.

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Jo said...

yep - i got two bills in the mail before the issue arrived, as well. greedy martha. ha, ha

it was the most random mag i have ever read. i loved the part on blowing up photos and making your own purses out of scarves. this is what i was looking for: martha DIY with attitude.

will now write CANCEL on the third bill that comes!

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on, guys. This wouldn't be a viable magazine if it were just for us blue-mascara-haired Williamsburg design wonks. Think bigger, think about others, think about Iowa! It's beautiful, it's fun to read, and I had to go to four newsstands to get a copy. (The first three had sold out!)

8:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is why I love this blog... actual conversations that I care about... Like most of you, I sent in my "freebie" card and not only got slammed with invoices, but started receiving random new catalogs from places like Bodum, Hannah Anderson, and Frontgate... blaaachhhh. I guess that should tell us who the demographic for the mag is... and it ain't me!

As for marketing magazines, personally, I can't get enough of them. I just ABSOLUTELY LOVE Domino... and even though I don't think this site is market driven, it does help you BUY the stuff you need and that is exactly what more magazines need to do. This is a new age of service journalism...

If you're looking for a really great reno and crafting mag, try ReadyMade. I just love that magazine... really fun and well done. And Mother's day is just around the corner peeps...

3:55 PM  
Blogger widmerpool said...

The New Yorker also sells ads. They are not a commune either.

Domino still drives me nuts with the worst running column of any magazine.

"What if this outfit were a room!!! (We ran out of ideas and are leaning on Lucky)

Domino can't seem to be anything but a mirror of Lucky. It's ok. Hard to see how anyone could love it.

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Amy said...

I was into it after just a few minutes, and I'm looking forward to #2 (though now that I'm reading the thumbs down comments on the beauty/fashion spreads, I'm finding that I agree on that point - there's a reason I don't subscribe to the beauty mags, and the more space for home content, the better!).

I was worried it would be too much like Readymade (which was initially good, then quickly turned into a how-to manual for making silly things out of garbage), when what I wanted was MS-style solid information on relevant and useful projects and ideas, only for a smaller space and budget, and *slightly* younger tastes. I also worried Blueprint would dumb everything way down or be to "edgy," and speak to someone fresh out of college who'd never done any decorating/DIY/entertaining. But I think they struck the right balance—the contents were inspiring, and still do-able.

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved the DIY scarf purse article but thought that spending $900 on dresses for work is ridiculous!

7:08 PM  
Anonymous Anna Joyce said...

I totally agree that "Blueprint" is trying to be too many things at once...I think I will give it another chance, but after that no more. Has anyone seen "Cookie'? It suffers from the same problem. I love the idea of a design and life style magazine centered around the family (as the mother of 4 month old that is very appealing) but its focus to too wide so it feel spread thin. I would prefer more projects, recipes, DIY activies, ect...What ever happened to Martha Stewart Baby?
That was the BEST.

3:20 PM  
Blogger K-Dub-Ya said...

2 invoices no issue. caved and bought it last night @ the bookstore.

eh. Too random. I dont need someone telling me how to apply vynal letters. I felt like martha was talking down to me. I expected a lot more.....

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just signed up for the free issue after seeing an ad for it during Martha's daily show. I nearly gasped when they flashed an image of the magazine that featured a gorgeous pair of heels.

Can someone help kill the suspense and let me know what shoe brands are featured in that first issue?

The curiosity is killing me.

-Shoe Addict

6:08 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

I actually love Blueprint. I'm a huge fan of Real Simple, but sometimes the content skews a little older than my demographic (I'm 26).

Now, if you want to talk about pissing someone off, let's talk about Weekend Magazine. I subscribed to it about 2 and a half weeks before the relaunched issue was going to hit stands 8 weeks later I still hadn't received anything. They told me that international orders had to add on another 9-12 weeks for delivery! I live in Canada - not Nepal! And what was I paying an extra $20 for international deilvery for if they couldn't deliver it on time? It had been on the the stands over 3 weeks when I finally cancelled. Oh, and I won't even go into how horrible customer service was to deal with.

Has anyone else experienced anything like this with Weekend?

3:06 PM  
Anonymous aubrey lane said...

funny, i found your site while searching for "emma gardner blueprint throw" on google.com and then read down to where i thought you might feature the key i'm looking for (the throw on page 72) but alas, i found myself here.

i was wandering through the grocery store this past friday evening and saw blueprint, it seemed interesting enough to purchase. i consider myself somewhat of a magazine addict and along with that comes a general bias toward the wealth of magazines out there. however, this one really won me over. for the first time in years i do believe i read nearly every page.

i too enjoy real simple and lucky and the occasional living (the halloween and easter issues!) but this one? for some reason it struck a chord with me enough so to gush and gush when upon returning home from completing my year at college and gasped when i saw my mother had bought it too!

it does seem to be geared toward a younger crowd (which at 19, i adore) in many ways, but i do feel that a lot of it was easy enough to incorporate into my own life, something i haven't found with living or real simple, at least to this degree.

so all in all, i loved the fact that it rolled all the elements into one. that saves me $15 dollars in purchasing the others too!

there is my 2 cents! take care =)

4:01 AM  
Anonymous Ems said...

I COMPLETELY agree with your point about the unfocussed nature of this mag... I was really excited about the idea, but I'm not hooked. I think if they cut out the clothes/makeup, it would help to define the mag a bit more.

Oh, and I also signed up for the "free trial", received a bill and no issue(!). Ended up buying it at the book store eventually, but won't be buying it again.

10:51 AM  

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