And, here it goes. I am obsessed with the magazine, Real Simple and have been for quite some time. Years ago, I picked it up when I was immediately drawn to its beautiful and clean look. The colors spoke to me, the simple type made me feel warm and cozy, and the content made me want to organize everything I own while simultaneously kicking back and learning “how to let go and enjoy life.” That’s the kind of headline you may read on the front. Or you might see something like, “10 Ways to Clean your Kitchen Sink,” “How to Unwind for the Weekend,” and “7 Looks that Will Never Go Out of Style.” I love the mix of tips, advice, and articles on how women are trying to enjoy their life more and stress less and the best ways to get there. In fact, the tagline is “Life Made Easier Every Day.”
Even as a teenager, I connected with this magazine and was constantly excited by the concept and the ideas for application. From a design perspective, I have always loved the clean layouts mixed with detail, white space, and creativity. It’s the kind of magazine that you open and actually get to take a deep breath, because it’s not overwhelming. You flip through the large format pages with ease, and because it’s not junked up with too much copy or crowded layouts, you actually want to read everything you can find (as it might be one of those things that stick in your mind for use later).
The site is a perfect complement to the magazine, as it exudes the same cleanliness but is an endless resource for how to make your life easier. Find a recipe, learn how to organize the closet that you thought was too small, and find 20 wedding gifts that the bride will never forget. It has it all, and it is completely user-friendly in the way that it is laid out.
The navigation on the site is even aesthetically pleasing and completely easy to use. I love the large drop downs and the simple imagery used.
I really enjoy grids and boxes in design. Both the magazine and site do a great job of carrying grid design and use it throughout for navigation and/or grouping of images.
Check out the fun variety of things that the site offers. Real Simple is always progressive in the way that it gives the reader what is relevant and upcoming. Here, you can get a Real Simple app, get a cookie of the day recipe, or view some videos on YouTube.
And of course, we can’t forget that Real Simple is connected socially. Because of the keen awareness the magazine possesses, it goes where the woman goes. You can find Real Simple on Twitter or Facebook, sending out tips, quotes, links, and information that might help make your day easier.
Real Simple on Facebook.
I could go on forever discussing the things this magazine does well. For now, I will end with some cool pieces of illustration from the magazine and from two different illustrators. They fill the magazine with different types of illustration in each issue, and I love the visual interest that it adds.
Real Simple, thanks for having so much dimension, connecting with the target on so many levels, and for filling your magazine with great content, beautiful design, strong photography, and a variety of illustration.
Sara Beth Parks is a designer, Southern girl, and lover of all things beautiful, currently writing of her journey with art and design, "My Latest Buzz."