While American in-flight magazines are purveyors of the loud, overproduced garishness chock-a-block with best steakhouses in America advertorials, our quiet neighbors to the north have been able to produce two quiet, understated and well-designed in-flight magazines that are pleasing to dig in to and give our over-stimulated brains a bit of a break.
1. Porter Airlines’ re:porter magazine
The first one, relatively new, is from the well-liked startup Canadian airline Porter. Cleverly called re:porter, it is designed and produced by Winkreative, the creative agency founded by Wallpaper and Monocle founder Tyler Brule. And you can see shades of Monocle magazine’s design aesthetic reflected in this somewhat pompously titled “The journal of Porter Airlines.” Winkreative developed Porter’s brand identity to start with, and the magazine came later as a result of the successful launch of the airline. And if you know Brule’s preference for old school print, it wouldn’t be surprising to you that the magazine does not have a website, and prefers to just put up PDFs of each monthly issue online.
2. Air Canada’s EnRoute magazine and website
Meanwhile, Porter’s bigger competitor Air Canada doesn’t fare too bad in the in-flight magazine department, and also has one of the best looking in-flight magazine sites around. Called enRoute, the magazine covers reflect the somewhat quirky, French-heritage influenced content as well. Designed and developed by Spafax, the print version itself is oversized, compared to the other in-flight mags, and focused purely on travel, as opposed to general interest in-flight competitors. While re:porter focuses on layout design and graphics, enRoute indulges in gorgeous and crafted photo layouts, yet still maintains that understatedness about itself.