Hello everyone. Haven’t logged in for awhile. I’m currently waiting at a train station and have some time to kill. Inspired by some “Tier List” videos I’ve been watching, I decided to write one with magazines!
Some things to note, to be frank, I’m not very seasoned with magazines. I’m more of a newspaper guy, and only been into magazines recently (last few years, compared to newspapers which is probably my whole life), so I don’t really have much experience with them. But I’ll try my best with the limited knowledge that I have.
The tiers are simple. S, A, B, C, F. I figured out I wouldn’t need the full letters they usually use. S is the absolute best, F means the magazine isn’t really “usable”. Doesn’t mean the magazine is bad per se, they’re just unsuitable for the “purpose”. Also, no fancy graphics or whatever, just blocks of text.
IF you disagree with me, that’s FINE. Absolutely fine. The list is completely subjective. You’re more than welcome to write your version of the tier list.
There are many considerations for each tier. Nothing set in stone, but things like the size, the “feel”, print quality, the “ratio”, and even the price and how easy it is to get one. Again this isn’t an academic list, just a quick and dirty one.
There might be differences between the magazines I have here and what you have over there, even the same brands. Maybe they’re thicker, or different printing quality, so this isn’t a “universal list”.
Alright, list of magazine brands I have experience with :
Bazaar, Herworld, Hello, Cosmo, Cleo, Looks, GoGirl, Elle, Bazaar Wedding, Herworld Bride, Brides, Cosmogirl, Marie Claire, National Geographic, Women’s Health, Catalogs
(Pieces of heaven)
This is the pinnacle of magazines in my opinion. I don’t know about you, but Marie Claire simply exudes quality. Great printing quality (the paper isn’t completely smooth, it’s slightly textured, which makes them sublime to use, and the paper are thick too), the colors and pictures are gorgeously sharp, and they’re quite thick with a decent ratio. We’re talking about 20 usable pages at the least. The models are great too, you know what I mean. The price is a bit in the high end, but worth it in my opinion. They also tend to have great covers and features interesting people, so we got that going.
(One of the best in the industry)
Herworld Bride, Brides, Bazaar Wedding
I’m going to put all off the brides magazine in one entry, as they all earned their spot here for the similar reasons. One of the best ratio in the industry, one magazine can last for a long time simply by the sheer amount of usable pictures in them. One magazine can have over 80+ usable pages, that’s simply mindblowing. They’re thick too, and that’s a bonus point. Printing quality isn’t as good as Marie Claire, but they’re more than usable. The brides magazines are A-tier solely from their high usable ratio, and the fact they’re rather cheaper than most magazines of this caliber.
As a bonus point, they’re convenient to get too. When you buy wedding magazines at the store, most people would think you’re an event organizer or designer, so it’s not out of the ordinary. Unlike carrying, say, a squarely for woman magazine. Yes, I really do consider that part.
The bad part of wedding magazines are the models seems to be…. stiff? Most of them are just flat and emotionless, unlike other magazines where they’re smiling and whatnot, and in my eyes that plucked off a few points of bride magazines.
Elle is really hard to come by here. They’re not as thick as the Marie Claires, and a far cry from the brides magazines in terms of thickness and usable pages, but they won in the content part. The models are good, interesting, and have decent ratio. Print quality is very decent too. Not as good as the other A-tiers or S-tiers, mind you, but in a good day you could probably get 10-15 usable pages in them, and that’s not bad for the money.
(Not bad, but not that good either)
Bazaar, Cosmo, Cleo
Again, I’ll put them in one entry. In my opinion, Bazaar, Cosmo, and Cleo are like the slightly worse versions of Elle. Yes, they are thick (especially Bazaar and Cosmo), but man they have a poor ratio. Out of like 250 pages, you can expect to have anywhere between 10-20 usable pages, not counting the cover. Yes, sometimes you could strike gold and have one of those editions with 50+ usable pages out of 300 pages, but they’re rare. And considering the price for each one, it’s just almost not worth the money except those special editions. I got mostly duds in those magazines.
Cleo is even worse, 150 pages, with roughly 10–15 usable ones. The saving grace is the print quality, which is better than anything below B-tiers.
Those three are good magazines, they’re just have such a low usable ratio that it’s hard to justify buying them if all I wanted is to “use” them.
Unlike its bride counterpart, the actual Herworld magazine is the lesser one on the hierarchy. They’re hard to come by, so I don’t have much experience with them. But, the ones I’ve managed to buy are usually filled with ads (that are unusable) and low-quality images that are far from arousing. Low ratio, expect 10-20-ish usable pages, and low resolution pictures. At least Bazaar et al. has more lively pictures.
(Better than cardboard I guess)
Looks, GoGirl, Cosmogirl
These three magazines are aimed at a younger audience. Compared to the more mature, serious brands, they’re severely lacking in print quality, and the worst part, paper size. They’re smaller than standard magazines, about half size, which makes them uncomfortable to “use”. The contents are… different. They’re full of colors and graphics, but often chock-full with articles and blocks of text that I just don’t need. Extremely low ratio, sometimes you can end up with one with zero usable pages. They can be had for cheap though, and are plentiful.
I personally don’t buy these kinds of magazines anymore. Thin, low ratio, small paper size. They’re just unfit for my use. But, I have to mention them because they’re one of the earliest magazines I got my hands on back in high school, after a bit of swipey-swipey from fellow classmates. It was heaven for me back then, but now I realise how rubbish they are.
I’ve seen Hello magazine mentioned here once or twice, and yes, I’m a reader of this one too. You know this one, a magazine about UK royals and some royal stuff I don’t understand. They have a very low ratio, sometimes only the cover is usable, and the worst part is the paper quality is horrible. They’re very thin and rip easily, especially when wet. I know there are some hardcore fans of this magazine, you do you, but in my opinion Hello just rarely worth buying for me.
And if that’s not enough, there’s only ONE store around here that have them in stock. The store usually only has like 3 at every given time, the price is inflated 6x than the standard pricing, and it’s an hour drive to get there.
ONE very important details though. As Hello is an UK publication, you have a higher chance of buying one with news / articles / editorials about Ellie Goulding in them, and for me, it’s a worthy gamble to keep buying. Keep the interesting ones, and just use whatever’s left.
(You’d better off reading ingredients on a shampoo bottle)
Anything that isn’t listed yet
National Geographic is an objectively good magazine, period. But for my use–case, they’re not usable. Ratio can drop as much as zero, and the price for one is wallet-burning. It’s not the type of magazine I’d buy for this purpose.
Women’s Health are rare, and they have rubbish print quality, rubbish resolution, and no good images. They’re just mostly articles for heaven’s sake.
Now catalogs. They’re a special case. What I’m talking about is beauty catalogs, say various make-up catalogs and the likes. Tbe brochures. These are one of my earliest experience with “magazines” (they’re not magazines, am I right). But they’re full of glorious pictures, with some catalogs reaching an insane 100% usable ratio. That means every page is usable, but they’re generally low-quality print (after all, they’re meant to be mass-produced and distributed cheaply or even free), and just generally undesirable.
I think I need to explain “ratio” as I mentioned it here several times. Ratio (or usable ratio), is put simply, a way to quantify usable pages in a magazine. What I meant by usable is the page can be used to “pull one off”, usually by having a good, suitable pictures. Obviously, I won’t do the deed using a random article or blocks of text, I need something that can turn it on, you catch my meaning?
Alright, let’s give it an example. I started using ratio back when I first started buying my own materials with my money. It was junior high school or something, I was strapped, I don’t have much money to spend on newspapers, so I need to pick the one with the most bang for my bucks.
Imagine a newspaper that consists of 20 pages. Out of all the pages, 2 of them are celebrity news with great pictures, while the rest are just random news I’m not interested in. That means the ratio of that newspaper is 2/20, or 10% usable. I’m not going to blow a load on random news, I’ll probably only use the celebrity pages. That means on that newspaper, 2 pages are usable, while the other 18 pages are just deadweight, maybe I could use them to clean the room or use them to absorb stuff that spills everywhere but really they’re not that useful.
Now, suppose there’s another 20-pages newspaper, but now it has 5 usable pages, maybe they’re celebrity news and/or interesting ads. Now, the ratio jumps to 5/20, or 25% usable. The newspaper can last longer as I have more pages to play with.
If both newspapers are priced the same, I’d pick the latter, as I have more material to use for the same amount of money, more bang for buck. That’s ratio. For the same number of pages on both newspaper, I got more use out of the latter.
In terms of magazines let’s say Bazaar vs Marie Claire. If Bazaar has a ratio of 30/350, and Marie Claire 50/200, it’s obvious which one I’ll get. The Marie Claire would last me longer as it has more pages I could burn through. Of course, ratio don’t matter much now as I have all the money in the world to spend on magazines, but efficient use of money, know what I mean? That’s the importance of ratio.
I think that’s all for now. I wrote this impulsively so pardon the horrible word choices and whatnot. Sounds like ramble of a madmen to be honest. How about your version of the tier list? I’d be very interested to know.