Rejigged Farmers Weekly offers a quicker read

Farmers Weekly has been revamped for the first time in 10 years, in response to busy farmers’ demands for a quicker read.

“We felt the time was right for a more radical redesign,” said editor Stephen Howe. “The farming industry and farmers in particular are under a lot of pressure at the moment. They don’t have much time for reading and we wanted to make Farmers Weekly that little bit easier to read.”

The title, whose readership has an average age of 58, has introduced a bigger typeface and more white space on the editorial pages.

In addition, the tables and graphics, which summarise business information, have been simplified to make them more accessible.

But Howe, who has edited Farmers Weekly since 1991, said any changes to the editorial content would be in response to developments in the farming industry and would not be introduced as part of the redesign.

“We wanted to retain that business feel for very busy professional farmers. “You have to be a very naive publisher if you suddenly change the editorial content of a magazine,” he said. “Farmers Weekly is a very dynamic magazine and it is constantly evolving to reflect the changes in the industry.”

It has also retained its colour-coded sections to allow ease of navigation through the 17 separate editorial topics, which highlight the diverse nature of agriculture.

As Howe explained: “On one hand we have readers with 10,000 acres or more of arable land, on the other hand we have livestock farmers in the west of the country with 100 acres.”

Despite a price increase, from £1.65 to £1.75, Howe maintains that the magazine is fairly priced compared with most other business-to-business titles. “In fact, I would say it’s too cheap, but that reflects the industry we are serving,” he said.

As well as changing the format, the sub-editors and designers have had to deal with rejigging the title in the same week that publisher Reed switched from using QuarkXPress to Adobe InDesign. “The production team have coped really well,” added Howe

By Sarah Boden

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