Rachael Ray Every Day’s Redesign with Design Director, Phoebe Flynn Rich
SPD: Why did you decide to redesign Rachael Ray Every Day?
Phoebe Flynn Rich: We felt it was time for a change to better reflect Rachael and her brand, which has evolved over the past 12 years. The magazine's new vibe is modern and clean; we’re calling it ‘upscale but not uptight.’ I think the redesign shows a new side of Rachael that is more sophisticated without losing the fun, of course! Our look is more refined and “hip” with an Insta-intimacy feel that our audience looks for--we didn’t want to lose that direct personal connection our reader has with Rachael.
SPD: What was it like collaborating with the editorial team for the magazine's updated vision and new sections?
PFR: A redesign is ALL ABOUT collaboration! It would never have happened if it wasn’t for the endless hours put in by our art, photo and edit staff and our fearless EIC, Lauren Ianotti. That said, the majority of the redesign was in the visuals, which was super exciting for me. The process was a collaboration with design consultant Jenifer Walter and Michael Belnap, Creative Director at Allrecipes. We stripped down a lot of the heavy-handed color and propping in our photography so the focus could be the food. We added bolder and more modern-feeling fonts, such as Neutraface and Acta, as well as thick black rules to keep our attitude. The simple change of using black type throughout the pages was a huge departure for us, but I think it allows us to have fun in other ways, such as with spot illustrations (Rachael calls them foodles, and she’s been illustrating recipes with them for years!) or our sometimes playful content.
SPD: What were the major changes and challenges of the redesign?
PFR: A redesign is not easy, but anyone in publication design these days knows our work is a labor of love and the payoff is in the results. After months of meetings and deliberation we restructured the magazine into several new sections, such as “Real Food,” “Real Life,” and “On Our Radar,” which nods to the personal reader connection we’re striving for. We no longer try to deliver overlying complicated messages in our food photography. I love the straight-forwardness of our headlines. We embrace food as the star and let the design and words speak for themselves. The largest challenge I think is trying to get Rachael’s voice across without showing an image of her over and over again. We landed on using more personal language throughout, through more quotes, hand-drawn type and incorporating small line-drawn illustrations, as though she herself has doodled on the pages. Another thing I appreciate about the new look is how it separates itself from the ads with more negative space and structure.
SPD: Tell us about the process behind picking the cover.
PFR: To me, the crop and angle of this cover feels immediate and lets the food shine. It is tough to approach a Thanksgiving turkey cover in a new way, since it’s has been done so many times and ways, which is why I think the cover line really works for us. It sums up the tone of our new look in 3 words "You got this!" which to me feels millennial and also very Rachael Ray. And it’s the juxtaposition that makes it so fitting for our brand. Our brand is not about perfection, but authenticity. We’re showing this perfect, platonic ideal of Thanksgiving turkey, but we add the casual, conversational line to make it “us.” Endless thanks to the top-of-the-line team that executed the gorgeous image, Christopher Testani (photographer), Barrett Washburne (food stylist) and Megan Hedgpeth (prop stylist)!
SPD: What's next for Rachael Ray Every Day?
PFR: The challenge is never-ending! Now that we have a product that we're really proud of, where do we take it from here each month and how do we change it up? What can we do with recipes to continue to give the sense of intimacy that people get from social media and push the relationship they have with food? How can digital and video access a younger audience that is totally into cooking yummy, easy food and make it fun? Lucky for us, our EIC is open to trying new ways to deliver information and taking risks which is super-refreshing, inspiring and makes coming to work each day fun.
SPD Bonus Question: Who are your dream dinner party guests?
PFR: Art, music + food= dream combo! Barbara Kruger, PJ Harvey, Questlove, and Jose Enrique to name just a few.
Design Director: Phoebe Flynn Rich
Design Consultant: Jennifer Walter
Contributing Creative Director: Michael Belnap
Associate Art Directors: Erin Wengrovius. Elizabeth Zuhl
Photo Editor: Randi Sidera
Associate Photo Editor: Samantha Ulban
Editor-in-Chief/Content Director: Lauren Iannotti