Corner Office: Founder Ann Marie Gardner Discusses the Launch of Quarterly Magazine Modern Farmer
Your website is very clean and simple yet consistent with the aesthetic appeal of the quarterly. What inspired your design?
We're really visual. We want pictures. We want it beautiful. We want you to have the feeling when you get on the site or you open the magazine that you're there in the country and you can smell the fresh air. So we wanted it to be very experiential.
And visually I always wanted to turn the farm animal into a celebrity.
When I was thinking through this I was inspired by this old magazine from France in the 50s. It was a farming magazine called Rustica and I really liked it because it had an old newspaper feel to it. It was very practical.
I also worked with Tyler Brûlé, [founder of Monocle and Wallpaper magazines] who is very visual too. And he really taught me about how important the consistency of brand is.
Why did you launch with an ecommerce component intact?
It always seemed obvious to me. You can't not have an ecommerce arm to your business. Right now there's Modern Farmer branded products. But we're starting to do collaborations with people. We're talking to a company that's like the Carhartt of Canada and we're going to do a collaboration with them. We've got a really great collaboration coming out for spring. We're doing a pair of overalls with John Patrick Organic—a jean gardening dress—that we're going to have for sale for the spring issue.
What do you hope to accomplish in the next year or two?
I'm looking out ten, but in the very short term I think where we're going to really grow is digital. We're going to get more aggregation, and we're going to do more community stuff—telling more farmers' stories and increase the amount of stories we run online. After this big event this year we'll probably up the events and the panels and the seminars we do in 2015. We'll probably go bigger on ecommerce.
Denis Wilson was previously content director for Target Marketing, Publishing Executive, and Book Business, as well as the FUSE Media and BRAND United summits. In this role, he analyzed and reported on the fundamental changes affecting the media and marketing industries and aimed to serve content-driven businesses with practical and strategic insight. As a writer, Denis’ work has been published by Fast Company, Rolling Stone, Fortune, and The New York Times.