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The "New Look" AP

Discussion in 'AP Magazine Feedback & Suggestions' started by PhotoEcosse, Jun 14, 2014.

  1. flipster

    flipster Well-Known Member

    I did broach the ad ratio in a much older thread but received no answer from your deputy editor. My point on the letters was maybe ill put. Surely you get some that don't praise or are critical of AP?? Maybe some letters that are photography based...not amateur photographer magazine based....just a thought. Or is that now the criteria to get letters published?? The new look is mainly old stuff re branded and re tagged with, so far anyway, not much "new" to get excited about. Just my opinion...don't get all worked up about it Nige. Chill mate.
  2. Carl Welsby

    Carl Welsby Member

    Hi Nigel,

    Lots of positive things being said about the new style, so I accept I’m a minority, perhaps. I just picked up a copy of the new look mag yesterday. Here are my thoughts.

    • The cover felt heavier/thicker. Could just have been my imagination. The whiter paper and heavier font is harder on the eyes in my opinion.

    • The mix of move away from clear and easy to red sans-serif fonts in the old mag to the new serif font makes it really hard to read. There is huge disparity between whether a sans-serif font is used or not – “Aweek in photography” – serif; “Teddy Assault” – sans-serif. “Shoot and air show”- serif; Leica 90mm lens – sans serif. “Horse power” entire article – serif; “Northern Lights” – title and intro para – serif but body of article sans-serif. This is hard to read and clashes and for me at least is important. What is the rationale?
    • The graphs on the Zeiss vs Sigma review are so small and difficult to read. Can anyone read the axis digits which to me are microscopic? Bigger please.
    • Bring back clack background to Readers Spotlight (renamed portfolio) photos?
    • No website of the week review? Or am I missing it? I used to look at the ones rated 4* +
    • No rating for reviewed books and exhibitions? No biggy, but useful.
    • The Prof get’s less space – a bonus for me. Could never follow anything from para 2 anyway ;-)

    I for one am underwhelmed. I know people dislike change and you can’t please everyone, but I for one much prefer the old style. It was clear and concise and was a pleasure to read. I’ll give it a bit longer but feel I’ll be buying fewer copies now.


    Last edited: Jun 22, 2014
  3. Nigel_Atherton

    Nigel_Atherton Group Editor

    I'm chilled. You're entitled to your opinion, I'm pointing out that you're factually wrong on the ad ratio front, and that we do publish negative as well as positive letters, as well as letters that aren't about the magazine. The letters are a reflection of what's sent to us. But yes, my general life philosophy is that positivity should be rewarded more than negativity, and critical letters are more likely to be published if they're constructive and specific, and perhaps made in good humour, rather than being an angry rant.

    On the subject of ads, AP has always carried a lot of ads. It's why a lot of people have bought it - because it was (and still is) the best marketplace for gear shopping. If you look back to AP in the 1970s and 1980s you had to wade through about 30 pages of ads before you even hit any editorial. The ad ratio now is a lot better than it was back then. While it varies slightly from issue to issue, the ad figures I'm working to are the same as they were last year. In fact they're slightly better because some of the advertisers we had last years have since gone bust and some of those pages have been given back to editorial.
  4. Nigel_Atherton

    Nigel_Atherton Group Editor

    Thanks for the feedback Carl. Let me answer some of these points:

    • The cover is the same stock, its the paper inside that has been improved. If you compare them you'll see its markedly better. Not sure how whiter paper could be harder on the eyes - it increases the contrast which makes the ink stand out more.
    • We'll have to agree to disgree on the fonts. I found the old one dull and boring, the new serif font much more elegant and attractive. Almost all magazines (professionally produced ones, anyway) use a mix of typography, both serif and sans serif, rather than the same one all the way through.
    • Graphs - I agree. While we can't make the graphs bigger I'll take a look at the size of the digits on the axes, as it's currently too small.
    • Black Background - Although I like white text on a black background we (and magazines in general) get more complaints from readers about this in focus groups than almost anything else. It's a universal criticism. Some older readers find it harder to read.
    • No space for website reviews at present, though I wouldn't rule out bringing them back if I can find a space for them.
    • Ratings on book reviews - you're right. I'll make sure we add these in future.
    • Professor Bob gets less space but its more often. We felt that smaller portions would easier to digest.

    You're right that we can't please everyone, but I try to please as many as possible, and I'm encouraged that judging by our feedback so far we seem to have pleased a lot more people than we have displeased. Some people take a while to get used to change, but please stick with it – it might grow on you.

  5. flipster

    flipster Well-Known Member

    strange...a much less bullish response to this post??
  6. Carl Welsby

    Carl Welsby Member

    Thanks Nigel. Let's see how it goes. The point is that if more people like it than don't then its a success. Cheers.
  7. flipster

    flipster Well-Known Member

    oh...by the way Nigel....I just said roughly half of the content was ads....can you give me an exact percent figure? I realise there is a reason for them.....your reference to the 70's and 80's maybe reflects the advent of the internet...printed ads are far less effective...for stuff we already have...can't afford or just plain don't want...saying that those shirts look rather natty..please endeavour to publish more letters that reflect photographers concerns...loves...experiences....anecdotes...feelings...aspirations, opinions...on things other than AP!!! My post just looked at the last two letters of the week....can i have an sd card now???
  8. Skyehammer

    Skyehammer Well-Known Member

    Many thanks , Nigel , that'll be brilliant .
  9. Nigel_Atherton

    Nigel_Atherton Group Editor

    I didn't mean to sound bullish. You're right in that almost half the content is ads. Currently we're at 52 editorial pages in a 92 page issue. But this has been the case for years and is not linked to the redesign. Mind you, ads for shirts and shower heads are new. Not sure where they've come from – maybe the advertisers think that photographers are a scruffy and dirty lot!
    As for letters we publish those sorts of letters when readers send them to us. Perhaps you should write one in the style that you'd like to see more of.
  10. Skyehammer

    Skyehammer Well-Known Member

    My copy of the new look ' Amateur Photographer ' arrived today !!!

    That was some fast work , Nigel !![​IMG]

    I like it....a lot....just the correct size , hasn't lost what it's all about ...altogether brilliant !!
  11. Nigel_Atherton

    Nigel_Atherton Group Editor

    I wish I could take credit for that. I'm glad you like it.
  12. Lurcio53

    Lurcio53 New Member

    Loving the new re-design of AP and the updated Roger Hicks photo, one minor gripe, and I don't know if others have experienced this, but the ink on the covers isn't very 'fast' an smudges if held for too long with warm hands apart from that it is a vast improvement - look forward to each issue arriving.
  13. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    Finally got round top reading the mag - I like to save the pleasure 'til the weekend. Overall I like it. Do tend to agree with earlier coments re the graphs in the lens lest, they are difficult to read. The resolution charts didn't look quite as clear either and I'm afraid I found the noise sample images were so small as to be pointless - even peering at them closely I could really see any difference between the lowest and highest ISO examples...

    I like the new text design, much nicer than the old version and at leat you've got rid of that ghastly white text on black which I loathed...

    Good mix of articles too. I've no doubt I shall be buying further copies as and when...
  14. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Oddly enough, my copy has just dropped through the letterbox; not had a chance to assess it yet.
  15. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Nigel,

    Good grief! Where do you live? Even mine arrived today, in rural France.

    The new version looks good to me: it feels like it's more about photography and less about kit, which interests me less and less, though I found the 50mm comparisons interesting. The trouble is of course that advertisers advertise kit...

    The Bailey/Shrimp reconstruction was superbly done, and it was fascinating to compare the details: jaw-line, shape of nose, size of eyes. And Bailey's right: she is (and was) magic. I ran into her once in Cornwall about 35 years ago. God, she was beautiful!

    Back on the subject of advertising, Shutterbug used to get car ads sometimes: Land Rovers and photography strike me as a natural combination. What other non-photo stuff might fit AP well?


    Last edited: Jun 23, 2014
  16. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    Beer? French wines? Package tours?
  17. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Roger,

    Now you're taking!


  18. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    Given the number of photographers I know with persistent aches, strains and higher than average bodily wear and tear I'm surprised the mag isn't full of ads for physiotherapists! :)
  19. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    I'm not s sure about beer, but Chardonnay for grown ups from Burgundy, lemonade for grown ups (made from sauvignon blanc) from Bordeaux, and of course Bordeaux for red.
    Lets not forget cider from Normandy. Most are difficult to find here.

    Based on the fellow photographers that I know, advertisers of good wine would get a better return on their advertising compared to purveyors of shirts; don't wives and partners do the shirt buying?

    Adverts aimed at the individual traveller rather than the package tourist would also probably get a better response ratio.
  20. flipster

    flipster Well-Known Member

    Your sd card is in the post!!!!.

    Seriously though...i liked the old ap...and as the new one ...to be fair...isn't all that new i like it too. As someone else said ..less kit please!!!...thanks.

    thanks to Nigel for taking the time to reply.


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