Magazine Research

For this project of fashion photography we were asked to look into 4 different magazine: a monthly magazine such as Vogue, Glamour or Harpers; a weekly magazine such as Grazia, Hello or Look; A men’s magazine such as Tatler, GQ or Mens Health; as well as an alternative fashion magazine such as ID, Another magazine or eg. The task: To look into their various target audiences, how they differ, and what are their various stylistic approaches?

After briefly considering all the magazines out there I decided that my chosen magazines would be:

  • Monthly magazine- Vogue
  • Weekly magazine Grazia
  • Men’s magazine- GQ
  • An alternative fashion magazine- ID

I first looked into Vogue magazine as it is one of my favourite fashion magazines and happens to be one of the most known and iconic fashion magazines out there. The first ever Vogue magazine was published in 1892 in America. Then in 1909 the magazine was obtained by Publishers Conde Naste. As the magazine became more popular the magazine began to became larger and its main focus turned to women. In turn, the price of the magazine also increased. In 1916, when the First World War whent the magazine could not be delivered to Africa, Europe and Asia printing was started in England and this decision was highly successful. Then 1920 saw the first issue of French Vogue published. Over the years, some of the world’s best and most famous photographers have worked for Vogue such as:

  • Guy Bourdin
  • David Bailey
  • Richard Avendon
  • Corrine Day
  • Helmut Newton

During the 1960’s the American Vogue went under the leadership of Diana Vriland and had become the symbol of a new era of fashion photography with a more creative provocative and inspiring style. Another very important time in the Americans and really all the Vogues history was in 1988 when Anna Wintour became Editor and Chief and she helped turn Vogue into the worlds number one fashion magazine. The magazine does not just reflect trend – it effectively shapes them.

I then started to look at the audience and age of the buyers of Vogue and found that 85% of the readership is female. Then looking into the age range, 36% of readership is 16 to 24 years, 32% of 25 to 34 years, 15% of 35 to 44 years and 16% of 45 and plus. After finding this information I also found that 57% buy clothes and shoes once a month, 67% buy cosmetics and perfume once a month, 52% make time for reading the magazine and 49% save their favourite issues. I also discovered that 64% of the people who read the magazine work, 53% are managers, white collars, business owners and specialists and 78% are high income and above average.


For the weekly magazine I decided to research Grazia.

Grazia is a weekly women’s magazine that originated in Italy but sas editions printed around the world in countries such as France, Japan, United Kingdom, Spain and Greece. The magazine started  first publication in November 1938 and was based on the American magazine Harper’s Bazaar. Grazia emphasizes Italians traditional values of life – like cooking and child rearing. However during the fascist rule, the magazine followed the fascist policies and propaganda. At the end of World War II the magazine was renewed, but its’s conservative stance remained. From the start in 1938 to September 1943 Bruno Munari was the art director of the magazine whilst also directing another magazine Mondadori called Tempo. The British version of Grazia was first published in 2005

Such photographers to work for the magazine Grazia are:

  • Kate Egan
  • Silvia Olsen
  • Peter Gehrke
  • Catherine Mead

After researching the history I began to research what the audience and age of the buyers of this magazine. This proved impossible and after some intensive research, I could not find any information about it. Therefore, I decided to make an educated guess on what I thought the age and audience would be. I think that most of the readers would be female and they would be middle class as they would be buying this magazine each week and she wants to keep up to date with the fashion. They are likely to be between 20&45 but do not want to spend too much money on the clothes so there is a mixture of high street clothing and high end.

For the Men’s magazine I selected GQ.

GQ is an international men’s monthly magazine based in New York. It focuses on food, movies, fashion, sex, music and books etc. The magazine was first published in the united Sates in 1931 as Apparel Arts, it was a men’s fashion magazine for clothing trade amid at wholesale buyers and retail sellers. To begin with it had a limited print run and was aimed solely at industry insiders to help them give advice to their customers and often took the magazine from the retailers, and in return the creation of Esquire magazine in 1933 was created. Apparel Arts continued until 1957 but was then dropped from the logo in 1958 and the name Gentleman’s Quarterly was created. During 1967 Gentleman’s Quarterly was rebranded as GQ and the frequency increased from quarterly to monthly in 1970.

In 1980 Conde Nast bought the publication and editor Art Cooper changed the course of the magazine. In particular they introduced other articles beyond fashion which in turn established GQ as a general men’s magazine. Nonnie Moore was hired by GW in 1984 as a fashion e    ditor, having worked for other magazines such as Mademoiselle and Harper’s Bazaar. Jim Moore, the magazine’s fashion director at the time of her death in 2009 thought the choice was unusual, as she was not from men’s wear so people said she was an odd choice. But really she proved perfect as she changed the magazine so that it looked more casual. She also helped dress up the pages and up the men, while making the mix more exciting and varied and approachable for men. A Photographers to work for the magazine is Matt Holyoak.

Looking at the audience and age of people who read the magazine I found out that even though GQ is a men magazine 37% of females read the magazine and 63% of males. Also:

48% are ready to pay extra for desired brands

42% are trying to keep up with the latest fashion trends

76% are willing to pay more for quality products

62% prefer to stand out against others

As for the readership: 66% are managers, professionals, employees; 81% work and 80% are high income and above average.

ID is a British magazine dedicated to fashion, youth culture, art and music. The founded of ID is a designer and former Vogue art director Terry Jones in 1980, the first issue was created in the form of a hand stapled fanzine with text created on a typewriter. Over the years the magazine has grown and evolved into a glossy mature magazine whilst also keeping it’s street style and youth culture central to the magazine. The magazine is known for its innovative photography and typography and as a training ground for new fish talent. As well as a magazine ID has held many exhibitions international and published several books. photographers to work for the magazine are people like:

  • Wolfgang Tillmans
  • Terry Richardson
  • Mario Testino
  • Nick knight
  • Craig McDean
  • Juergen Teller

The Title i-D is to represent a winking smiley face which often used by young people today when they are texting. The cover models either wink or core their right eye to replicate the smile ‘I.D’ can also refer to identity which represents a young body trying to find their indendity and means to find their inner identity within the magazine. The magazine front cover usually has a word on it do with youth, again appealing to a younger audience

Looking at the age and audience for this     magazine. I would say the target audience is young adults around 18 to 30 who are mostly females, who consider themselves knowledgeable in fashion, art and music industry. I think they would generally be interested in music, but not necessarily mainstream music and art and I think Would enjoy going to festivals and concerts.

To conclude on all four magazines all thought they are all mostly about fashion and the trends that are on right now they are all based on a different target audience for example whilst Vogue target audience is mostly females around their 30’s in the upper class society because in their magazine they are advertising expensive and wold renowned brands with hight end models dosing with the high end products. Whilst I-D although it is still  for female views it is more for the younger generation i.e.16 to 18 year olds from a middle class family, who have less money to spend so the images shown in the magazine tend to be high street products and have unknown models that might just be starting their career. Also looking at the two magazine the front covers are very different Vogue has a more expensive hight class glossy look to the magazine whilst I-D is trying to relate to its views ad has more of a relaxed look to its front cover.

Grazia might have the same target audience and feel to vogue as it has the same expensive look. Yet Grazia i think like I-D is more for the middle class views that is trying to aim for the upper class audience so has a mixture of hight end and hight street products. Looking at GQ against the over three magazines, GQ is not that different as they still advertise for hight class products and hight street products. GQ also has a lot of information i  their magazines on fashion and other trends like the other magazines do. the only difference of GQ to the other magazine is that its audience is men not women. I think that all the magazine fit with their target audiences well and are sucsefull in bringing out interesting magazines that people still want to buy to this day.