Magazines

MING magazine gets an elegant redesign

JDM081105mings.jpg
MING, October/November 2008

The lifestyle magazine MING was launched in mid-2006 by the Media One Group, the publicly-held magazine publishing arm of Hong Kong's Media Chinese International. The mainland sponsor was the Nanjing City Federation of Literary and Art Circles, and it borrowed the name of the magazine "Young Stars" (青春之星).

In November of that year, MING began publishing under the title "Tomorrow's Style" (明日风尚), with the character in large type. That incarnation used the multi-section format common to upscale lifestyle weeklies like Modern Weekly and BQ.

The newly-redesigned magazine, shown here in its October/November double issue, retains the old name but brings all the sections together in one massive volume (300+ pages).

According to the corporate website, "MING is an uplifting and edgy lifestyle magazine with depth, attitude, and core value in global vision, targeting sophisticated and affluent readers in key Chinese cities."

A pithier formulation is given in the "Editor's Note" for this issue:

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Ming pre-redesign (2007.11)

The four English letters of MING's name can be used to describe the magazine: Metropolitan, Intelligent, New attitude, and Global vision.

This redesign, apart from changes to the layout and an overhaul of the contents, is more importantly a journey of reassessing magazine culture on the part of the editorial department. The impact of the Internet on traditional print media led us, as print media, to think more carefully about what our role should be. The new field of competition no longer depends on your speed or on the wealth of information you provide; rather, it lies in the overall reading experience. Although traditional magazine brands still dominate the marketplace, there has never been a shortage of new magazines entering to enlarge the imaginative space of magazines for the readership. A pleasing, stimulating magazine must combine aesthetics, intellect, and interest to give the reader a unique reading experience. No element can be left out.

Every change was made according to MING's personality and aesthetic; the content selection and writing style both reflect MING's core values of life and humanity. The new MING has not abandoned the values and ideals it has long held; on the contrary, it aims to realize them more fully. As we said two years ago, "Good taste is cultivated from an individual's education and upbringing through the experience accumulated after years of life." We therefore hope that MING's readers will not be the nouveau riche who blindly chase after trends for the sake of showing off, or the arrogant, biased, narrow-minded people. We hope that MING's readers will be those individuals with an international outlook and native introspection, who see kitsch as their greatest enemy, who truly understand an appreciation for detail, who pursue perfection, and who value individuality, attitude, and personal space.

May the new MING be a mirror and a window for these MING people.

MING's thoughts on the Internet's influence on print media echo those given by the editorial board of Eslite Reader when it announced a hiatus earlier this year.

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Bookzine, March 2006

The overall effect of the new MING is somewhat similar to Life Magazine, but without the large format, sumptuous photography, high-concept design, and hefty cover price.

One blogger notes that MING's redesign recalls the early issues of the (now defunct) Bookzine.

The magazine's new creative director is Luk Chi Cheong (陆智昌), a noted book designer who did Yang Jiang's We Three, and the unabridged, annotated edition of Lolita published in 2006.

And the contents? Well-known contributors from the Hong Kong media scene, such as Craig Au Yeung, John Koon-chung Chan, and Sammi Cheung, join some of the usual suspects from mainland media, like columnist Lin Da and food writer Shen Hongfei.

This issue takes an interesting look at the US presidential election by discussing Cindy McCain and Michelle Obama alongside profiles of some of the most famous First Ladies in the world. There's also a neat photo-essay about Nepal and a look at the mullet fishing industry.

There aren't all that many ads in this issue, so who knows how long the new MING will last. But for a promotional price of 10 yuan, you really can't go wrong with this issue, at least.

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There are currently 2 Comments for MING magazine gets an elegant redesign.

Comments on MING magazine gets an elegant redesign

Minging!

Not sure if it's done by Luk Chi Cheong. If it is, I would say it's probably implemented some in-house designers. Judging from the cover, it's nowhere near good design, choice of typefaces and arrangement of space is problematic.

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