JCR: How do you define Bon Magazine?
ME: Bon Magazine is the glossy with depth, a glamorous magazine with daring attitude. With confidence and accuracy we choose our topics from a broad range of subjects. The magazine covers the latest trends in fashion, music, film, art, politics and society. Always on the edge. Always with a twist. We look into the creative minds of modern culture, dig deep in the most interesting stories, and reveal the trends and tendencies that will influence the world in the near future. We tell the story that lies beneath the obvious, the superficial surface presented by many other magazines targeting trendsetters and early adopters.
JCR: It’s not a new magazine but it’s currently hitting its stride, what do you attribute this to besides your flawless editing?
ME: A unique combination of mixing serious topics like society and art with easygoing stuff like Steve Martin, coffee drinking at Louis Vuitton and tranny polo players in Thailand. Always with a high level of journalistic integrity.
JCR: You’re considered a niche publication from a global perspective but isn’t your aim to reach a critical mass in Sweden?
ME: Yes, our aim has been to reach a critical mass in Sweden, as well as internationally, but we still want to be considered a niche publication.
JCR: What constitutes critical mass? Your current circulation?
ME: We think critical mass in Sweden is around 20-25,000. Our circulation is 19,000 in Sweden, and our planned circulation for the international edition is 25,000 copies to start.
JCR: Should we expect multiple language versions of Bon in coming years?
ME: We will have two totally different editions, one Swedish/Scandinavian in Swedish and one international in English.
JCR: What’s the balance between local and international coverage in the magazine?
ME: We do not have a standard template for our content, every issue is different in terms of topics and subjects, but an average is 2/3 international, 1/3 Swedish/local.
JCR: What are the advantages of a magazine like Bon that targets a relatively small territory but is seen as the ultimate authority in that region?
ME: It’s better to be strongest in one specific area or region than being average in a wider segment.
JCR: What’s the value proposition for advertisers?
ME: Bon has a high impact as a leader in our category, and a strong unique relation with our readers — they consider us trustworthy in what we are saying, and we believe that our advertisers benefit from this.
JCR: You’ve secured the 2003 Cover Design prize from SPD, what does this mean for the magazine?
ME: A lot, hopefully. After winning Magazine of the Year 2002/03 in Sweden, Bon attracted some local attention, increased sales, and new advertisers. But when we won the SPD prize the media and advertisers in Sweden, as well as internationally, were really impressed. Swedish people seem to be more impressed by international attention.
JCR: Has it been a concerted effort to mark the magazine with covers that evoke the spirit of Scandinavian design?
ME: No, Bon is a Swedish magazine with a international twist, but we do not design our covers from a Scandinavian perspective.
JCR: And this is not a picture book, there’s written content (albeit in Swedish)…your latest issue contains features about Viktor&Rolf and the Neptunes.
ME: We consider Bon as a journalistic product, and the images and the words are equally important to the product.