'Shape' Redesigns Magazine To Focus On Wellness

Shape has redesigned its print magazine to include more wellness and holistic content, leaving workout instructions to its digital platforms.

The redesign was spurred by the recent additions of Brooke Danielson and Noah Dreier to the Shape team as fashion/lifestyle director and creative director, respectively.

Elizabeth Goodman Artis, editor-in-chief of Shape, told Publishers Daily she wanted Dreier, previously art director at Glamour, to be able to “put his stamp on” the magazine.

Danielson is behind the expanded style coverage in Shape’s new design.

The magazine now has verticals dedicated specifically to beauty, fashion, food, health and fitness, too. Naming these verticals was important to Artis, who wanted to change the “tonality” of the publication.

For example, the nutrition section used to be called “Eat Right,” but “I don't want to tell women to eat right anymore. It feels like a command,” she said.

The new sections all begin with “Be” now, such as “Be Food Curious” and “Be Health Wise.”

“I don't want to tell women what to do, how to look, how to feel. I want to give them ideas and they can experience it,” Artis said.

When women work out consistently, they are taking care of themselves, and this translates into other areas of their lives, a point Artis makes in the May issue’s "Editor’s Letter." When women work out, they sleep better — and their skin and body look healthier as a result. It also makes women feel more confident.

While the Shape print magazine expands its wellness coverage, the brand’s website is building out its fitness content. The site went from producing two to three fitness videos a month to nearly 60.

“All the arms of the Shape brand can serve different functions,” Artis said. “The Shape magazine can get people excited with fun things to try and stories to motivate women.”

Then readers can turn to the website for more functional content, like workout tips. Or, scan the pages of the magazine with the Shape Next mobile app, connecting readers to digital workout routines.

“Let’s be real: Women are getting that on their phones, not ripping it out of the magazine and taking it to the gym with them,” Artis said.

The May issue looks at the science and experience of fitness, rather than actual workout demonstrations or instructions. One feature of the magazine explains the science behind high-intensity interval training and why it works for so many people.

Then readers can head to Shape.com, which has “a zillion different high-intensity workouts,” Artis said.

Shape readers may have noticed the last six or so magazine covers are not all women in bikinis. The May issue features actress Kate Mara on the cover in a white tank, zoomed in on her face.

“I want to bring out the personality [of celebrities] and who they are and what they feel comfortable in,” Artis said. She finds it important “not to reduce women to their body parts” on covers.

This redesigned Shape magazine is “reflecting what is happening in society in terms of how women see their health and wellness,” she said.

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