Bespoke Magazine No. 15: Think Money

Bespoke Magazine No. 15: Think Money
For the 48th SPD Pub competition and gala, Co-chairs Courtney Murphy and Marshall McKinney sought to acknowledge the "bespokeness" that adds interest to our increasingly homogenous world, celebrating publishers both large and small that are creating customized publications with an emphasis on individuality.

The deadline for entries has unfortunately passed but with judging just days away the atmosphere around here is buzzing! Don't forget to book your tickets to the gala when we'll be announcing the winners (details coming soon!) and pick up a copy of PUB 46 in the app store to see the quality of work you're up against!

The next bespoke pubs you may may not be aware of: ThinkMoney

Kevin Lund, publisher and editorial director give us his insight

ThinkMoney is a quarterly magazine targeted to active trading clients of TD Ameritrade. The content is primarily focused on US equities, options, futures and foreign exchange. I am the Publisher and Editorial Director, Tom Brown - Creative Director, and Fredrik Broden-Chief Photographer. 

Historically, financial magazines, particularly those on trading, are dull, unimaginative, sleepers, that often leave the reader more confused or less interested in the subject. In 2006 I had an idea for an irreverent trading "anti"-magazine that defied conventional wisdom. It would marry fun, useful information with world-class, eye-popping design, and stunning photography/illustration. 

Not wanting to compete with Barnes and Noble shelf space, I decided it best to shop the idea to an online broker with an active trading clientele. If a broker client wanted to pick it up, they could control the distribution and marketing messaging throughout, so long as I could maintain creative control of content and art. I just needed a world-class designer and photographer...and a client. Enter: Art Director Tom Brown of TBA+D and Fredrik Broden, chief photographer. 

Through a chance meeting, I tossed the idea to Tom, and almost immediately, we came up with an early iteration of the thinkMoney concept. He brought in our brilliant chief photographer, Fredrik Broden. Soon after I picked up a small broker client out of Chicago who liked the concept, and thinkMoney was born. Soon after our first couple of issues, that broker merged with TD Ameritrade, and we expanded circulation 5x to all active traders in their database. ThinkMoney is now the largest circulated trading magazine of its kind. 

Inside, readers will find at least 4 primary features, and several regular departments assembled in a seemingly haphazard order by design. All the design, typography, art and editorial is deliberate. Before each issue, we always ask what we can do or say differently, that hasn't been done before. And each issue we succeed in doing so--sometimes blurring the lines so much that the reader forgets it's a custom magazine by TD Ameritrade. 

Since we're not on newsstands, we don't have to subscribe to traditional conventions in layout and design. After the TOC, the reader is immediately hit with the cover feature that contains a photographic "punchline" to a visual riddle that begins with each cover, extends into the contents page, and further to the opening image of the feature. We dismiss the notion of a "feature well" and weave lighthearted and useful departments as needed, to break up the complexity of the content in the features. (Let's face it, derivatives are boring and complex. So you better have pretty design and
amusing editorial to keep the reader engaged.) The columns are often staggered to open up white space and provide a freer flow for the reader to get through

We downplay the role of the magazine as a marketing tool, and provide the same integrity you'd find in any glossy magazine found on store shelves. It's a rare combination of intelligent design with thoughtful conversation about trading, that keeps readers inspired, laughing, and motivated to trade. We're in our 6th year of publishing thinkMoney, and TD Ameritrade continues to enjoy a handsome ROI. 

Based on readership surveys, the combination of thoughtful, simple conversation about trading and a witty, stunning design, we inspire most readers to take action--either by sharing the magazine, placing a trade, learning about a new TD Ameritrade tool.

The mobile and web versions can be found here. We also publish versions for iPad, iPhone, Android, and Kindle. 

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