Bon Appétit’s Refreshing Refresh

Bon Appétit magazine just turned 61, but has never looked younger.

It is no secret that legacy magazine titles are rushing to launch edgy rebrands to chase those coveted millennial ad dollars. Bon Appétit has an uphill battle: its content is ubiquitous, its competition is fierce, and our attention spans are getting shorter.

But it seems to be working. AdWeek recently named the Condé Nast publication as the Hottest Food Magazine, Hottest Reborn Magazine, and the magazine with the Hottest Design/Photography, noting that their efforts have boosted the Bon Appétit overall audience by 10 percent, and increasing the millennial audience by 13 percent. Building off of this success, the magazine launched a sharp-looking online vertical called Healthy-ish, geared towards young women with a piqued interest in fine dining and exotic ingredients.

Personally, I think the new look works in a way that is both completely obvious and extremely relevant. For instance, the palette of bold pastels is an expected choice for the ’90s kids it is trying to attract, but the colors still look fresh against the bold graphics, stylized photography and Memphis Milano-inspired textures.

I’m all for ending the use of tired design tropes that are being force-fed to Reagan babies. But, I think Bon Appétit has actually done it right this time, by successfully elevating and updating a sturdy brand and confirming its pertinence.