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Introducing the new-look Which? Magazine

Members should now be receiving the new-look Which? Magazine. The redesign was informed by your feedback, so I’d love to know what you think.

Over the course of its 62-year history, our magazine has experimented with different looks.

Our pop-art-inspired 1960s issues are iconic; our 1980s tabloidesque phase best forgotten.

For this redesign, our first since 2014, we’ve freshened things up with new typefaces (Tiempos is our serif, National our sans serif) and a more elegant colour palette.

Difficult questions

A good redesign isn’t just cosmetic. We didn’t shy away from difficult questions. What’s the purpose of a print magazine in 2019?

For me, this was about recognising that the magazine plays a different role in members’ lives now compared to most of its history.

20 years ago, and even 10 or five years ago for some, the magazine was the main way that people accessed our product reviews. Now, our website and app are best for that.

The magazine has increasingly focused more on features, investigations, interesting insights and useful advice, but I didn’t feel like the old design was showing these things off well enough.

Meeting with members

When we met with our members across the country, we were reassured.

They told us they want the magazine to keep them informed, with advice you can trust on a range of consumer issues.

Most agreed our website and app are best for seeking out information when researching something specific, so a magazine should serve a different purpose: it should be more relaxing, inspiring, and sometimes challenging.

It should surprise you, offering insights that you wouldn’t look for online – things you didn’t know you needed to know.

The new-look Which? magazine will be arriving with our members now. It’s informed by their feedback and will continue to be.

Let me know what you think of the new look in the comments below.

23 September 2019

I have just read the comments on this site and was sad to read that other members are also thinking of ending their membership.
I find the print very difficult to read as the font size and colour changes so often.
Please consider your older members and those with sight handicaps who need a strong basic print, nothing fancy.

Thanks for your feedback, Yvonne. You’ll see I’ve commented elsewhere on the fonts used in the new magazine, which are actually the same size or larger than in the previous design.

We understand how important legibility is to readers, so we’ve also made a great effort to ensure more of the text is ‘black on white’ or black against a pale background colour, and reduced the amount of colour used in headings. If you can point to specific sections you find difficult, we’ll take a look at them.

Stephen says:
23 September 2019

Why change a good format? I much prefer the old Which?
The mag which was emailed is completely unreadable and old fashioned. The login screen has failed to accept my usual details so now can’t log in.
There is a great possibility that after using the site for at least 10 years I will be giving up my membership

Elizabeth says:
24 September 2019

I prefer the old Which myself. A lot of us do not like change and wondering if the new design is not the change for the better.

Malcolm Buckle says:
23 September 2019

I want to like the new magazine but can’t. The new typeface is not as good to read and I felt that after opening it I was at the end and appeared to have read very little. Some pages were given over to headlines and little else. I will agree that when buying something I do my research online rather than back issues of the magazine. I am going to give it a go for a couple more issues and see if there is any improvement.

Brian Armstrong says:
23 September 2019

Do not like it at all

The font size it too small, it’s rather dense and there’s not enough differentiation in the layout.

I used to read the magazine from cover to cover, even on articles that wouldn’t normally have appealed and would learn something new.

I started to read this but found it rather laboured and insipid. I’ve put it down and not returned to it since.

Please bring back the previous magazine. Or offer Which? members a substantial discount for a digital only version.

Frank Brennan says:
23 September 2019

Very difficult to read. Definitely prefer the older style!

Nigel Morris says:
24 September 2019

As a Which subscriber for 3 or 4 decades I’ve watched quite a few changes but like many of the other commentators I struggle to be positive about this one. The new masthead is ugly and the cover is a mess of different fonts which seem completely unrelated. This visual clutter continues on the inside pages in a kind of smorgasbord of graphical tricks as if the layout has to run through every option offered by the publishing suite rather than striving for clarity and simplicity. More serious than the presentational issues though is the lack of focus in some of the content, which the graphics simply reflects. Which was built around product testing and comparison tables like the one on page 57, with their accompanying reviews. They are at the core of it’s work and presumably the most expensive to undertake. Is that why there is only one in this whole issue? It is good that Which has broadened its scope to take on more of the problems that affect consumers but like many an evolving business it is all too easy to forget what drove the initial success in a scramble to cover all the bases.

Sorry new magazine is completely wrong .. print,data ,direct information,is poor and if this is to remain as it is I shall be cancelling my membership . WIll be shame after all these years of great service from Which to date .

Moderator’s note: This comment has been edited to remove personally identifiable information. Please refrain from posting personal contact details and membership numbers as this is not allowed by our Community guidelines

Alec Millar says:
24 September 2019

I agree with the many comments that the previous version was better. Also, seems to be on higher quality glossy paper- is this recyclable?

Find the format is badly set out and is certainly not easy to read. The old adage “don’t fix something that isn’t broke” comes to mind. Compared to the old format it is drab, unlike the September issue the front cover fails to draw you in.

It’s good to see an article on reusable coffee pods, since the single-use ones are expensive and wasteful. Hopefully we will see more articles on sustainability in future issues.

Unfortunately, the buyer’s guide on TVs does not mention that apps may stop working within a few years. If Which? suggested ways around this problem (buying a plug-in box), many might not need to buy a new TV.

Stephanie says:
24 September 2019

I really like this update. I have long thought that the magazine was old-fashioned and somewhat muddled – for example product information scattered randomly throughout the magazine.I think having all the first looks, just tested and product testing articles together makes much more sense.

I also like the clean, uncluttered look of the new magazine. Personally I never used the Buyer’s Guides at the end as I always use the website for the most up-to-date information so saving paper by removing these makes sense to me.

I read the new style which? in next to no time! Not happy – missed the money pages
and all the wee snippets of news, not to mention the back pages with the product

A tally to date gives 7 commenters in favour of the new look, 49 against. I wonder if Which? are also wondering whether they asked the right people for feedback and to join the focus groups, and/or whether they interpreted the feedback correctly? I haven’t seen my October mags yet.

This Convo and its responses may put prospective new members/subscribers off if they get the feeling the magazine is not as good as it was. It seems to me to be a good example of why we need a members/subscribers only Convo where matters like this can be discussed out of the public eye until they are satisfactorily resolved.

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I think Which? is misguided if it is seeking to attract younger members. To start with a subscription is quite expensive and secondly its audience is very much in the middle-aged plus generations. That’s not to say new and younger members are not very welcome but I suspect the magazine has limited appeal. For the important things that younger people want data on there are specialist magazines that have more up-to-date reports and reviews.

I can appreciate how challenging it must be for Which? staff to cater for a market that is generally older, more conservative, and possibly more intelligent than they are by virtue of their background and experience, so getting the design and style of the magazine right has probably been a bit of an ordeal – and the initial reactions have been somewhat uncomplimentary.

Terry Crawforth says:
24 September 2019

I completely agree with the other comments the format is wrong so much so if this continues I will think about cancelling my subscription. Small print bad layout it looks as if its been done by some teenager fresh out of uni. Do we really want this ?

Thank you for being a loyal reader over the years, Terry. I’d urge you not to judge the new-look magazine on the basis of one issue. Our commitment to providing members with the very best consumer insights, investigations, advice and tests remains undimmed.

There are many reasons why we needed to change the layout of the magazine, but I appreciate it takes time for any reader to find their way around a new design.

I’m still waiting…

I must say it’s a bit of a gaffe launching this feedback topic before many subscribers have received their magazines. If ever there was a month in which to synchronise deliveries, this is it!

Hi Deke,

Most of our members will receive their magazine this week and into early next week. Would you like us to check if yours has been dispatched?

Hello everyone. Thank you for all the comments so far on the redesigned magazine. We really appreciate them and always welcome constructive feedback from members.

We understand that changes to any magazine will always prompt strong opinions, which is why we’re listening to your feedback here on Which? Conversation and elsewhere over the coming weeks.

As you may have seen, I will also be posting responses to you addressing concerns individually. I hope I’ll be able to explain some of the changes and the processes behind them further.

James Kirby says:
24 September 2019

Over designed, graphics for the sake of it.
Looks like a design team trying to justify their fees.

John Clarke says:
24 September 2019

Colouring and layout are insipid and bland. Old look was clearer and had more wow factor than this – if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Brian Clay says:
25 September 2019

I don’t like it. With the old magazine I liked to dip in and out of articles when I had a few moments but the new one seems hard to read and doesn’t seem to lend itself to a busy lifestyle. To be fair I’ll give it another go but first impressions are very disappointing.

Peter Myrants says:
25 September 2019

I have been a subscriber to this magazine for several decades now. Whilst I am not adverse to change, I am a little circumspect about the consultation undertaken in respect to the change of style.and both the size and make up of the sampling.

It appears to me thus far that there is a significant majority of people who do not like the changed format. This is either because those that do like are more reticent to say so or that the changes are not being well received.

Despite trying to like the changes, regrettably I fall into the “do no like” category and find the changes do not encourage me to want to pick the magazine up and read it. 🙁