BRAIN WAVES: Anyone who’s ever lain in wait for the arrival of The Economist’s annual Christmas double issue, with its quirky, in-depth articles about the various aspects of the human experience, will be looking to crack open 1843, the magazine named for the year The Economist was founded.
The Economist’s rebranded and relaunched lifestyle title, formerly known as Intelligent Life, is full of similar fare.
Articles look at various topics such as the reasons why people in richer societies cry more; bossy Chinese dating apps (some warn users about the perils of one-night stands); the growing popularity of stoicism, and the mind of the French far-right leader Marine Le Pen. “Politics is a virus,” she says. “If you have it, you can never get away from it.”
The title addresses very modern dilemmas: Why everyone works so hard nowadays and the battle that smart Chinese kids fight to get into Ivy League schools.
There are sections on what people around the world are watching on big and small screens — as in a wedding reality TV show in South Africa, and a feminist, historical drama series in Japan — as well as what they are listening to and reading.
Fashion has its place, too. There’s an artsy shoot featuring the actress Natalie Simpson wearing Burberry, Paul Smith and Lanvin, photographed by Uli Weber, while the cover features a psychedelic, digitally enhanced portrait of a woman in a Stephen Jones hat, shot by Rick Guest.
The design isn’t particularly avant-garde, and resembles an in-flight magazine, although the writing makes up for it.
Unlike The Economist, the writers have bylines. The April/May issue includes stories by Julie Kavanagh, Luke Leitch, Fiammetta Rocco, Edmund de Waal and a slew of The Economist writers whose bylines never appear in the flagship publication.
Advertisers include Rolex, Ralph Lauren Purple Label, Dolce & Gabbana, Graff, Pictet, Maserati, UBS, The Peninsula Hotels, Barclays and Investec. Omega has taken the back cover. Of the magazine’s 142 pages, 42 are ads.
The title, which makes its debut Wednesday, will come out six times a year and be bundled in The Economist premium subscriber package, which includes the digital and print editions as well as the annual outlook report, “The World In.”
The premium bundle has 460,000 subscribers. The aim of the new magazine, according to its editor Emma Duncan, is to entertain and inspire The Economist subscribers and their families in their down time.
By comparison, Intelligent Life was sold by subscription and appeared on the newsstands in Europe. Its total circulation was 175,000.
The new title will also be sold on the newsstand in the U.K., Europe, North America and parts of Asia. There are apps for all devices, and a Web site with new content posted daily.