For our last On Holiday With of this summer, we chatted to Mat Wiggins of EasyJet Traveller about holidaying and his approach to the design of the inflight magazine.
Where are you today?
At work, in our Ink West Hampstead head office.
What was the first magazine you remember enjoying?
So many to choose from. Comics were where I first fell in love with print. My first subscription was ‘Look-In’ in the early 80s. The first proper ‘grown up’ mag I bought regularly was Sky. It made me feel cool! I wasn’t.
Tell us about your first holiday.
Crikey! The first one I remember was the south of France. We stayed at a caravan park with some family friends. Everything felt exciting and different, the sweets, the language, the money. I remember loving the French comics too, I couldn’t understand them but that didn’t matter.
Are you a beach holiday or city break person?
If I had to choose, I’d say beach. I’m happiest lying on a beach with a book after a swim in the sea. That said, I love exploring new cities – especially by bike.
What has been your worst holiday experience?
I’ve actually been very lucky. I’ve never had any luggage go missing or missed any flights. I landed in Hawaii once with a nasty fever some years back. It was raining heavily, and I was travelling on my own. I locked myself in my hotel room (which I don’t think had been touched since the 1950s) and sweated it out for two days. The fever broke, and the sun came out. I ended up swimming with turtles and having one of my best experiences ever.
What is your magazine’s approach to travel?
Get beneath the surface. Find the surprise – it’ll make the experience more rewarding and more memorable.
Be spontaneous, just grab your bag and go!
Which holiday/trip from your magazine would you most like to experience?
Probably one of the cycling trips we’ve covered. The Alps, Mallorca or Tenerife.
Which magazine(s) should people be taking away with them this summer?
Sooooo many to mention. Start with the inflight magazine onboard your plane! Take it with you and enjoy it. So much work goes into them I always think it’s a shame if passengers only read them on the flight. I always buy US Esquire when I travel, I love the care and craft that goes into it. My wife brought Porter away this year, which I thought was excellent.
The easyJet brand has subtly shifted in recent years from cheap, no-frills to something a little smarter. How has the magazine adapted to this new context, and did it have a role in that shift?
We like to think it did! My approach to the design of the magazine has always been that it should feel anything but low cost and cheap. It should feel exciting, like a special treat. Something to look forward to. It should feel crammed full of colour, opportunities and inspiration – it might sound a bit naff – but that’s what I think easyJet offers at the end of the day.
Everyone flies easyJet at some point – how do you define the reader you’re aiming at? (and how does that affect the look of the mag?)
In short – we don’t. It’s always a challenge appealing to such a broad audience. We’ve developed a character for the mag itself that influences how we produce everything for the title. That ‘personality’ directly connects with how we understand the easyJet brand. Fresh, fun, energetic, friendly, confident, vibrant and reliable. Our aim is to present everything with the same quality as any modern dynamic magazine the reader might find on the newsstand.
Where will you be taking a break this year?
We’ve just got back from two weeks in Kefalonia, which was fantastic. Gorgeous beaches, beautiful sunshine, great people. My tip would be to hire a boat in Fiskardo, make up a picnic and go off exploring the bays along the coastline.