The former food editor at Murdoch Magazine’s Marie Claire, Donna Hay had a trademark style of simple recipes and clean, minimalist photography. When Murdoch’s denied her the opportunity to open a magazine under her own name, she went to News Corp with a proposal and a mock up. They said yes. Donna Hay Magazine was the first of a new wave of food magazines. The launch issue (at left) featured a simple cup of ice cream.
Donna Hay magazine was just the beginning of an empire under Donna Hay’s personal brand. She went on to develop a best-selling range of cook books, cookware and homewares. The cookbooks and magazines, with their distinctive design style and emphasis on making it all look simple, caught the imagination of readers.
By 2015 she had released 24 cookbooks, selling more than four million copies worldwide. Her books had been translated into nine languages. The Donna Hay iPad app was also the number one selling digital magazine in Australia and she had her own television series.
In 2018 the end came for the print edition of Donna Hay magazine. The 100th issue, a special souvenir edition, was the last. The licensing agreement with News Ltd. has ceased and the magazine is now online only.