7.31.2010

A Decade of Augusts

When Martha Stewart Living became a monthly magazine in 2001, the publication began offering two new seasonal issues: a January issue and an August issue. Prior to 2001, MSL published ten times a year, sandwiching July and August into one summer issue and December and January into one holiday issue.

The monthly appearance of the magazine in mailboxes and on newsstands kept the magazine vital all year round and gave the editors a chance to broaden their focus by giving them two more issues in which to discuss seasonal lifestyle topics: new projects, new ideas and new Good Things.

 

As I've stated here before, the August issue ranks as my favourite among the three summer issues, though not my favourite of the entire year, which is usually reserved for one of the fall/winter issues. I read less during the summer so it takes a great issue to really grab my attention. Historically, that has been the August issue of Martha Stewart Living.

 

There is often an element of the sea in the August issue (pressed seaweed, found sea glass, sea shell crafts, a dockside picnic) and usually a focus on delicious summer desserts, like fruit-filled pies and no-bake treats. The bounty celebrated in the issue almost always gives me incentive to take stock of the overflowing produce at the market and compels me to enjoy all that 'High Summer' has to offer before she slips away.

Below is a roster of the ten August issues Martha Stewart Living has so far published. Each one is a treasure! Any particular favourites?
2001 and 2002

2003 and 2004
2005 and 2006
2007 and 2008
2009 and 2010

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have all of those issues saved, but I can't remember enough about them to tell you which is my favorite. My favorite Martha overall is Sept 1999, the special decorating issue! I love the photos of Turkey Hill and still go back to that article for inspiration.

August 2007 is my favorite August cover. But, I'll have to pull them all out later and get back to you.

-Renee

ANDREW RITCHIE said...

Sounds good, Renee! I'll do the same. I can't pick a favourite issue of all time. I have a top five list, though....

Anonymous said...

I love the fresh new look of the 2010 August issue. A new design direction echoing a new direction for the magazine. More changes to come in the upcoming months. . .stay tuned.

Jim said...

The one cover that bothers me to most is the one with the photoshopped flag.

ANDREW RITCHIE said...

I love the direction the magazine is taking: fresh, modern and clean.

Anonymous said...

But haven't you been saying that for years? You have been lauding the cleaner, fresher look through a few editors now. Don't get me wrong, it's my design preference as well. It just seems that MSL has been on this track for awhile.

Anonymous said...

Oh my if only I had the resources to wake up and walk through my house to find fresh flowers flanking my wonderful wedgewood service, an iced green tea with fresh sliced kiwi fruit staring at me, crisp freshly ironed vintage jacquard napkins, a dock in Dramiscotta Maine with Walter lamb furniture ready for a troop of neighbors, is this just agony that my pitiful salary allows me to only daydream that this were my life of a bluebirdbaby.

Kenn said...

I didn't care much for the August cover. Very "whole living" -ish. I always look forward to the September issues.. It starts my favorite quarter for Living Magazine.

Helene said...

I love the 2004 & 2008 covers. I like to organize my MS mags by season. So I do have June, July & August together. I have to say that my favs are Sep, Oct, Nov & Dec. There is something that I love about the Fall season and the Holidays.

Helene said...

Andrew, what are you top five? I am curious.

ANDREW RITCHIE said...

My top-five issues of all-time? November 1998, September 2000, September 2001, October 2002 and December 2002. Those are the ones that come immediately to mind. (And, yes, I have a mental library of the articles contained within each issue!) Generally, I love all the issues between the period of 1997 and 2003 the best (so far) but the magazine's new personality feels more 'now.'

will said...

why is it that i got a 2010 august issue that has a different cover?

ANDREW RITCHIE said...

Will, there was an alternate cover that was sent to some regions of the U.S. It is blue with glass jars and the little bouquet of purple flowers, correct? I'm not sure why it was issued, but it wasn't a widespread release, so you're lucky to have it!

Anonymous said...

My favorite is the first issue I ever bought. It is December -January 1991 well early 90s it is filled away. Anway Martha is seated at the foot of a tremendous Christmas tree selecting diaphanous ribbons to decorate the tree. There are instructions to create fabric covered boxes and the pages include indexed pages as to the table setting identified -- from private collection. All as the years go by I understand each photo is styled and creates a mood and the photos capture a moment created for the magazine someone does not live in the tremendous mansion on the Hudson River where the photo shoot was booked but it is a fantasy none the less

Will said...

Thanks for this info. I saw it in Boston and Cape Cod, Ma.