casa brutus magazine questionnaire: editor in chief ko matsubara
original content
jan 01, 2013
casa brutus magazine questionnaire: editor in chief ko matsubara


image © designboom

 
continuing our questionnaire series with the editors-in-chief of some of the world’s most well-produced print magazines,
in this article we focus on the tokyo-based casa brutus, which is one of japan’s foremost interior design and architecture publications.
casa brutus is dedicated to a trend-setting coverage of all things design, fashion and lifestyle, and having a three-decade history,
the monthly publication is among the most widely read magazines in japan and has been setting new standards in magazine journalism.

 



casa brutus is part of magazine world publishers

 

 

designboom visited the editorial office of casa brutus in tokyo in november 2012.

 

 

 

designboom:
how did casa brutus start?

 

editor-in-chief ko matsubara:
casa BRUTUS was first issued as a special edition of popular men’s lifestyle publication BRUTUS in 1998. it became a monthly publication in 2000.

 

designboom:
what are some key differences between casa BRUTUS and other japanese design magazines?

 
ko matsubara:
the basic concept of casa BRUTUS is different from other japanese design magazines. casa BRUTUS takes a holistic approach,
featuring not just design and architecture, but those lifestyle attributes that people who like design and architecture are also interested in such as fashion,
automobiles, travel and much more.

 

 


ko matsubara (middle) together with rie nishikawa and kaori sano (during our visit are wearing designboom badges)
image © designboom

 

 

 

designboom:
how do you know who your readers are and what they would like to see in each issue of casa BRUTUS?

 

ko matsubara:
as opposed to traditional market research, our themes and features are generated by listening to the trends of the day and actually going to
the street to speak to our readers and find out what interests them. we feel this allows us to focus on issues and topics that really resonate with your readers.

 

 


january edition – the 2013 best design catalog
image © designboom

 

 

designboom:
how is each issue put together, thematically?

 

ko matsubara:
we don’t simply go out and find interesting stories connected to an issue’s theme; we look for stories that will leave an impression on our readers, that will motivate them to visit a place, purchase an item or in some way engage with the feature’s focus.

 

 


image © designboom

 

 

designboom:
how much advance preparation time is required to conduct this?

 

ko matsubara:
once a theme is chosen, it takes a minimum of 3 months to produce an issue.

 

 


image © designboom

 

 

designboom:

how do you ensure that your content is always fresh?

 

ko matsubara:
we don’t focus on just architecture, or design or fashion, but keep our ears open to what’s going on globally.

 

 


image © designboom

 

 

designboom:
being a design magazine, the aesthetics of the publication–from font to layout, kerning to cover–is very important.
what style would you say casa BRUTUS is?

 

ko matsubara:
key elements to the aesthetics of casa BRUTUS are definitely the visuals and headers. the aim is get the main thrust of the piece across
even if you don’t necessarily read the entire article.

 

 


image © designboom

 

 

designboom:
how has it evolved in the last 5 years?

 

ko matsubara:
in the course of the last 5 years japan has had a major earthquake and felt the effects of the global economic downturn.
this has naturally forced people to reevaluate their lives, and over this period casa BRUTUS has been striving to provide
readers with material that promotes value in their lives.

 

 


image © designboom

 

designboom:
many print magazines are making the transition from print to online. what kind of measures
(from publishing strategies to content) are you taking to keep casa BRUTUS relevant and competitive?

 

ko matsubara:
we don’t think of casa BRUTUS as just a maker of content, but as a brand and a media in it’s own right. we feel, at this point in time,
that digital media complements print media, it is not a replacement. while actively working to incorporate digital media in the publication,
creating an international brand solely through digital media is still something we’re working on.

 



image © designboom

 

 

designboom:
what is the future of casa BRUTUS?

 

ko matsubara:
casa BRUTUS is committed to providing quality content and continuing to combine print and digital mediums to become a fully integrated media brand.

 


image © designboom

comments policy
LOG IN VIA
login with designboom
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

product library