Publican follows reader advice and calls time on old design

The Publican is to downsize from an A3 to a near-A4 format this week after pub landlords told the publisher that they wanted a smaller-sized magazine that they could read behind the bar.

Focus groups also showed that the readership — made up mostly of pub licensees and suppliers — preferred a modern look with a more cutting-edge design.

The redesign offers the publication more space to concentrate on promoting its campaigns, such as the Proud of Pubs campaign last year, which emphasised the roles of pubs within their communities.

The magazine's website, thepublican.com, has also been updated with an hourly rolling news service and news alert emails.

"The process of change took three months," said editor Caroline Nodder.

"We moved from Quantum Publishing to United Business Media and had a change of editor. I took over in January, so it seemed like a good time to freshen up the look."

The changes in Royal Mail tariffs were not the primary reason for the redesign, she said.

"Under our previous format we would have been able to fold, so it's not so much of a concern for us," she said.

"You can only fold up to a certain pagination and we have always wanted to increase our editorial content. This way we can increase our editorial content and we won't have to consider issues such as folding."

The move to size-based pricing by Royal Mail has increased costs for many magazines, because it means the A3 format can be more expensive to post to subscribers.

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