Umm. OK, Sarah. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (NYSE: MSO) strayed a little too far from the company's audience of blue-bloods and those who aspire to craft like them with Blueprint, a magazine unfortunately titled (evoking architecture of the blue-collar sort, not "where to find candles made of pink glitter"). It was meant to target the young single urbanite; but what newly-married aspirational New Englander wants a magazine full of recycled Martha Stewart Living projects, mixed with lipstick and gilded fashion advice? Evidently, not many.
The "brand" will be re-envisioned as a way to extend the audience of Martha Stewart Weddings past her nuptials, with occasional "special interest format" magazines (think Martha Stewart Baby), and the Bluelines blog will continue. The January/February 2008 magazine (probably already on the way to newsstands) will be the final standalone issue.
When I got together with my most artsy-crafty-design savvy friends to mourn the shuttering of House & Garden, we sat both magazines next to one another and compared. We agreed that Blueprint, with its insultingly-young editorial staff and its focus on pricey glitter over substance, with the unfulfilled promise of its tagline ("design your life") was vastly inferior to House & Garden. And if the superior is ceasing publication (after 100 years!), what chance did this strange intersection of fashion and shelter mags ever have? None. Far less simple than Real Simple, far less stylish than House & Garden, far less useful than Martha Stewart Living, the title was doomed from the start.