The March/April issue arrived here at Yankee Publishing a few days ago. Up until the time I can actually hold it in my hand, the issue is more a collection of separate pages, separate galleys that I see day after day posted on the wall of our conference room. Seeing a magazine take shape that way, it is easy to lose sight of the overall impact. Seeing photographs or videos of a place does not compare with actually being there and smelling, tasting, seeing everything firsthand. Seeing a magazine on a wall is a bit like that. You need more.
A magazine is meant to be held, the pages turned one by one. So when a new Yankee arrives, it is a big deal. Even though I’ve read every word so many times, it actually seems as if I am experiencing it for the first time. As I slowly turn the pages, these are my impressions.
The cover: We changed the cover weight, and that extra heft makes quite a difference. In a lot of things we do in life, it is easy, in hindsight, to say, “I wish we had done this differently.” Putting together Yankee is no different. I wish we had used this cover weight with the January/February issue. Now it just feels right. Sturdy and substantial. Problem solved. I’m guessing I’ll be hearing soon from a number of readers who don’t like the cover design I chose. That’s OK. The art of selecting and planning covers is highly subjective. I wanted it to catch the eye, to convey the spirit of the time when spring is so tantalizingly close that it seems just beyond our door. The actual field scene is from Maine, but the feeling of welcoming spring is universal.
Printing quality: Everyone immediately noticed this. The ink is so clean and black, it makes everything just pop so much stronger. As a college student, I worked two summers on mammoth printing presses, but I never really learned the intricacies of how the best print masters manipulated presses and ink (I mostly kept paper stocks filled and scurried around bringing supplies to all the printers). The printers on this issue must be proud of their work.
Captions: Carefully researched, carefully crafted captions are essential to memorable magazines. Our captions in the January/February issue had great content, but were simply printed in too small a type size. Now the captions are even better, plus they are bigger and bolder. They are meant to be read, and now you will be able to more easily.
We planned this Yankee so that as you turn the pages, you will feel the sunny days entering your home. At the same time, I hope you are entertained and moved, and that you find interesting stuff to do in the weeks ahead. I hope that you to come to the end of this issue and want to start at the beginning again. Turn the pages with me for a few minutes as I highlight some of our stories.
As I write this, the Boston Red Sox are off to Florida for spring training–the right time for us to explore where Red Sox Nation actually began. Tens of thousands of New Englanders love birds, and our New England’s Finest pages show you how some of our local artisans have combined art with bird-watching. Our Local Treasure lets you discover the most unique flowers in the world, and our antiques page introduces you to a woman who painted spring. If you are lucky enough to have discovered her some years back, you may have a small fortune hanging in your living room and not even know it.
We take you inside the home of Jan Brett, one of America’s most loved children’s writers and illustrators. And it’s more than a house tour–you’ll actually see her pages come to life right in her home. Our travel section shows how you can find adventure where you might never have looked.
One of the most commonly held dreams of people is to have a second career as a chef. Our food pages not only give you recipes from New England’s most noted culinary schools, but they also tell you where you can go away for a weekend and combine a mini-vacation with learning a new food specialty. Our Best Cook in Town is a gracious woman who was born in Greece and brings the love of her homeland into her kitchen.
New England’s wild areas call so many of us to explore its streams and woods and mountains, yet one of New England’s finest wilderness photographers shows you a wild area many readers never think about exploring. It is located only an hour and a half from these Dublin offices, yet when I did a quick poll of my colleagues, only two had ever actually trekked there. I think once you see the photos you’ll be ready to take out the hiking shoes.
The story I believe many readers will pass along to family and friends is Thom Rock’s personal journey to find his birth mother. I have a feeling that this story may be the beginning of his journey, not the end.
There are many more pages to experience, and soon the issue will also be in your homes. Let me know what the experience of settling in with the March/April Yankee is like for you. I hope it truly puts spring into your step.
Mel Allen is editor of Yankee Magazine and author of A Coach’s Letter to His Son.