February 7, 2011

The Top 5 Reasons Why Domino Magazine Worked

The premiere and last issues via ShelterPop.

When Domino folded, I couldn't imagine where I'd find another magazine chock full of practical, inspiring design tips and images of well decorated homes. I now get my fix from design blogs and the growing number of online decorating/lifestyle magazines like Lonny (edited by Michelle Adams, who was a market assistant at Domino) and Rue. However, somehow I still find myself referencing my treasured stash of Domino back issues, whether it's just for pure entertainment or to find a quick solution to a personal decorating dilemma. So just for fun and to show Domino some love although it's no longer with us, here are five reasons why the magazine just worked. Drum roll please...

1. It wasn't complicated. There's something to be said about the way living spaces were showcased in its pages. Of course there was a lot of styling involved to produce the beautiful photos that we all connected with month after month, but there was also an element of simplicity about them. The homes never gave off the impression of being overdone and I could often envision myself living in the very spaces I read about in every issue.

2. Trend coverage. The editors did a nice job of capturing home market trends, which is one of the main reasons people turn to design magazines. You want to know about those of-the-moment pieces, even if it's a trend that doesn't fully resonate with you.

Photo: Paul Costello for Domino (via Brides.com)

3. The right dose of secondary content. In addition to stylish homes, there were often pages on beauty and fashion. This all made for a fun mix and, in my opinion, really helped to solidify the magazine as an expert. It demonstrates editorial strength when a magazine can delve into a subject that's not its main focus and still cover it in a way that seems to mesh well with its primary content.

4. Branding. Beyond the print issues, I loved perusing the photos on the magazine's interactive website and was thrilled when it published Domino: The Book of Decorating (which, of course, has a permanent spot on my bookshelf). Brand extensions build reader loyalty and the magazine was definitely on track in this regard.

5. The Covers, the covers, the covers. Covers help to sell magazines and make you want to dig into an issue immediately. There's no denying that Domino's editors mastered the art of crafting great covers. From punchy coverlines to models who looked so happy and comfy in the homes in which they were photographed, the covers were always just right.

Don't you just miss it? I sure do. And if you weren't aware, Brides.com carries some of Domino's images under its home section.