'Family Circle' Redesigns, Focuses On Moms With Teens

Family Circle has redesigned its magazine with a new content structure, organizing editorial under two hubs — “On Duty” and “Off Duty” — rather than under categories like “Health” and “Style."

“We were thinking — as editors, and as busy women — we don’t live our life in silos. A lot of women’s service magazines have sections like ‘Home’ and ‘Food,’ but that’s not how we live,” Family Circle editor-in-chief Cheryl Brown told Publishers Daily.

The two sections represent “the rhythm of our actual lives.”



“On Duty” focuses on a mom taking care of business and getting through her to-do list, such as job, managing kids and getting dinner. “Off Duty” is for a mom having fun: decorating, planning a family vacation, shopping, entertaining and spending time with family and friends.

In addition, Family Circle’s research and focus groups found there “are not that many resources for moms with teenagers. There are lots of blogs for people with young kids," Brown said.

The magazine is also making a “real effort” to show families today — they “come in all shapes, sizes, colors and constructs,” she adds. “There is no such thing anymore as the perfect nuclear family. Our responsibility is to really reflect what families look like in 2018 and keep the magazine relevant.” 

The new structure allows Brown and the Family Circle staff to show how stories are connecting with readers. 

“Are we celebrating her down time with holiday content, or making her day easier by helping her get chores done?" Brown asks. “Breaking apart the traditional sections has allowed us to create much stronger stories."

Starting with its September issue, the Meredith-owned magazine will also debut a new logo, updated cover design and photography.

Family Circle decided to unveil its new look in the fall because it “represents a kind of shift,” Brown says.

In the summer, “families have been on vacation, maybe the kids are home from school. But when September comes, a light switch flips, the rhythm shifts, and we want to help moms with this transition,” she says. “Back-to-school is the classic time for that.”

Going forward, Family Circle wants to focus more on moms raising teens. Moms will see themselves more in the issues, too.

“For a brand to resonate with a woman, with anybody, you have to see yourself in it,” Brown said. “The photography style now shows scenes from her life that she recognizes,” like images of families cooking dinner together — as well as showing more people.

Many of these editorial and photo changes will be reflected on Family Circle’s social platforms and digital.

The magazine is also introducing nine new columns with this issue, too.

“Family Album” shows photos of modern families, for example, with personal anecdotes from each member of the household. "Talking About," another column, takes on big headlines in the news,  such as sexual harassment, school shootings and vaping - and helps readers navigate discussing these tough topics with their kids.

Family Circle magazine has a national rate base of 4 million.

Advertisers in the September issue include Allergan, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Curél, Garnier, Heinz, Kellogg’s, L’Oreal, Maybelline, Pepperidge Farm, Pilot Pen, Skechers, TruMoo, Tyson and Tylenol.

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