casa brutus magazine questionnaire: editor in chief ko matsubara casa brutus magazine questionnaire: editor in chief ko matsubara
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 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 catalogimage © 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




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

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