(Est. 1922) “Better Homes & Gardens serves, connects and inspires readers who infuse color and creativity into each aspect of their lives. Reaching 40 million readers a month via the most trusted print magazine, the brand also extends across a robust website, multiple social platforms, tablet editions, mobile apps, broadcast programs and licensed products. Better Homes & Gardens fuels our readers’ passions to live a more colorful life through stunning visuals, a balance of substance and surface, and a blend of expert and reader ideas. Better Homes & Gardens is published 12 times a year by Meredith Corporation, with a rate base of 7.6 million.”
One challenge was modernizing the identity for relevance and appeal to a millennial audience without alienating the core readership. Our first decision was to approach the design as a considered evolution of the brand so as not to jeopardize the equity with a wholesale logo change. The new design is rooted in the heritage, but as a new, simplified expression ready to carry the brand into the future. It links all the platforms and extensions through a modern and adaptable identity system. And by creating a consistent, cohesive brand identity that is recognizable in print, online and in-market, we are able to give readers, friends and fans a greater connection and affinity to a richer Better Homes & Gardens.
Central to the update is the return of the ampersand, which was used prior to World War Two and before the magazine shifted to emphasize the post-war “home” element in the name. The new ampersand provides a distinctive visual cue that connects the brand’s assets while reflecting its creativity. For the design system, we created a toolkit that captured the spirit of the magazine while providing the flexibility to adapt across all of the Better Homes & Gardens platforms.
The old logo was quite bad, especially in its handling of "Homes and Gardens" that had the "H" acting as a descender and as a roof for the tiny "and Gardens", making the outside areas feel less important than the homes. Also, that shrub icon was useless and sad. The new logo is a traditional, elegant serif that doesn't intend to become an instantly recognizable masthead like TIME but simply convey the full title clearly and with a hint of the classy homes and gardens you will find inside. The press release and project description make a big whoop of the ampersand and, while, yes, it is nice, it's not super duper special, which is fine. The cover is a vast improvement because the title now makes more sense but it's still the usual headline bonanza of current magazines. The "responsiveness" of the logo that minimizes to BH&G or just the & is the best attribute of the redesign, allowing the publication to stay consistent across platforms.
Thanks to Tiffany Taylor for the tip.
Plans are in development for coming back to Europe in Spring of 2018 with the current top contender host city of Barcelona.