Hayo is a Vancouver based magazine for travelers who are tired of reading all these paid editorials about some cheesy resort and craving genuine inspiration, arts and culture. The first issue focuses on South. We’re interviewing Joanna Riquett, founder & editor-in-chief of Hayo.
Can you tell us about you and your magazine?
I started Hayo as an online magazine focused on travel told by real people. As a writer, I was tired of pitching the same style of stories to every media outlet and I wanted to write and read stories that felt more real. Then, after a few months being online, I started understanding the game of digital publishing and the type of stories that people actually read online.
So I embraced the fact that online is an outlet for quick and dirty stories and started looking at other platforms to tell the stories I was so interested in telling. That’s when I found, or became aware of, the growing independent print magazine industry. I was so fascinated by all the styles, shapes and formats I had found that I decided to dive in myself.
Although Hayo still has an online component that is flexible, print is our main focus now and we love being able to curate and write stories from artists, writers, photographers and illustrators from all over the world. It’s truly an artistic publication that focuses on travel, culture and curiosities. A coffee-table magazine.
And editorial-wise, what is it like?
We look for stories that feel real. Most of our writers are not necessarily travel writers, they are people that have experienced a place firsthand and have the ability to convey that personal journey through beautiful words. We want you, as a reader, to feel inspired and at the same time prepared for your next adventure. Even if you are not planning a trip, we want you to feel like you’ve learned something or you’ve experienced something through the knowledge of our storytellers.
Our stories are not limited to a certain a temporality, because our intention is for it to become part of your reading collection, to save the magazine as a collectable piece.
Why choose print? What kind of paper do you use and why? What about your typographic choices?
Because print is beautiful! Holding something in your hands that feels good to touch is completely different than reading something on a screen. It’s an immersive experience, a quiet moment for yourself, it’s slowing down and taking some time for you, which is a luxury these days.
We used a 80 lb stock and a 130 lb for the cover with a smooth cover process, plus blind emboss and our typography is a mix of Bembo and Pressura.
How’s the public response?
It has been great so far! I think for a market like in the Europe there’s a lot less explaining on why going to print, but North America is still a young market, so while some people get it right away, I have found myself explaining the difference between producing an online magazine versus a print one. In any case, I think there’s still a lot of room to grow and it’s exciting to be part of an industry that is starting to re-flourish..
Good print mags get a lot of love, but this does not always translate to sales or advertising. How are the sales? Advertising-wise, do you have a conventional approach of selling an ad page or more of a brand ad approach?
Oh yes, that’s so true! This is the story of the egg or the chicken. Advertisers/brands want numbers, but they also want to be cool. The thing is, independent magazines have the cool factor, but not necessarily the same circulation numbers the bigger mags in the newsstands have and that the advertisers would like. There’s definitely a lot of pushing and negotiation.
Sometimes people don’t understand the cost of producing something like Hayo and they want to appear for free, but lately we’ve done –I think– a pretty good job partnering with the right brands to help us to keep the quality of our product. It’s different for each magazine, but you have to find the sweet spot where your brand partners feel comfortable with the deal and you as a magazine producer also feel comfortable with the space they occupy. This is something I’ve been juggling with as a new magazine, and that I hope it gets easier as you spend more time around.
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