If you pick up a copy of the March issue of Creative Review, out this week, we hope you’ll notice something a bit different about it: We’ve had a redesign.
There are structural as well as aesthetic differences to the magazine. Structurally, we have tried to make things simpler and clearer, with better labelling and easier navigation. A lot of this came out of the process of recruiting our new art director, Paul Pensom, last summer. We asked all the candidates that we interviewed for the job to critique the current design of the magazine. Navigation was something that they all highlighted as an issue.
So, whereas in the past, you would find new work on the spreads at the beginning of the book, as well as on First Sight single pages and in our themed Showcase section, it now all goes into one place, which, with a characteristic leap of imagination, we’ve called Work. This is an uninterrupted, 12-page run of the best new work in visual communications, with no theme.
At the front of the book, we now have a new section – Agenda. The idea here is for our pages to act as a filter. Every month there are thousands of events to go to, books to read, websites to look up. What we aim to provide are details of the few that, in our opinion, you might really find interesting. It’s also an attempt to give readers some short, easily-digestible snacks of information for when you don’t have time for the full, five-course, feature meal.
And then at the back, we have again made things much simpler by just having one reviews section – Crit. We hope here to bring a lot of new voices into the magazine, either through commissioned opinion pieces or, sometimes, drawing on some of the best-written blogs in our areas of interest. In this issue, for example, Violetta Boxill-Roope gives her view on a recent magazine design conference, while Bruno Maag takes the new BBC Three logo to typographical task and Armin Vit, in a piece first published on the excellent Brand New blog, takes a look at Xerox’s new public face.
We hope that these changes will make the magazine easier to find your way around – all are clearly labelled in our new typeface, Farnham. Creative Review has always taken the view that the work featured in our pages is the star, not the editorial design of the pages themselves. But that doesn’t mean we cannot make those pages powerful and elegant. We wanted to bring a little more typographical interest in to the magazine without moving away from our core values, so we wanted a typeface with a very big family. Christian Schwartz’s slabserif Farnham (from Font Bureau) fitted the bill admirably. Based on the work of 18th century German punchcutter, Johannes Fleischman, its family has 25 variants giving us the opportunity to be playful while retaining cohesion in the design.
Opening spread of a feature on MoMA’s new Design and The Elastic Mind show
This richness also provided the solution to a long-held desire to get away from standard headlines on features. Two-word puns – we’re sick of them. Instead, we have tried to combine the functionality of the headline and the standfirst in a new treatment based on type samplers.
I hope you like the changes that we have made and continue to enjoy Creative Review. My thanks go to our art director, Paul Pensom, for all his hard work. The new issue is out this week.