The Atlantic March 2013 Redesign_featured

The 5 Things We Love About The Atlantic Magazine’s Redesign

The Atlantic magazine redesignIt doesn’t happen often at The Atlantic, but the magazine got a bit of a makeover. The new look debuted in its March issue, and these are the five things we love about it.

With its March 2013 issue, The Atlantic magazine unveiled only its ninth makeover in 155 years. It’s nothing too drastic, but, as you might guess, it’s the little things that make a big difference.

Some of those “little things” include capitalizing the ‘t’ in “The Atlantic” masthead on the cover, bolder cover headlines and using a slightly smaller sans serif type on the teaser typeface. And that’s just on the cover.

On the inside, story jumps are indicated by a small arrow at the end of the copy. Not a big thing, but it’s helpful to know that the article continues.

Pull quotes and drop caps get a little subtle color in some of the March issue’s articles, helping break up the stark black and white pages of the magazine for readers.

Speaking of reading, expect also to see more sidebars and graphics, and don’t be surprised if a nugget or two contained therein draw you into a story you hadn’t initially planned on delving into.

While we love all these little tweaks, here are the boldest changes we love about The Atlantic magazine’s redesign.

Bolder Cover: OK, so we’ve covered this one, but with something as important as the cover, it’s worth mentioning again. Judging by March alone, we can see the magazine is going for bolder main headlines and a bolder cover image while scaling back just a bit on the size of the teasers. All of that adds up to something that will stand out on a newsstand or a stack of magazines in your mailbox.

More Informative TOC: Sometimes it’s easy to underestimate the value of a good table of contents—unless of course you’re looking for something specific. The redesign has allowed the magazine to pack more information, without being too overwhelming, in the same space. Think more stories, more images, a more noticeable blurb about the cover and better rundown of popular online content.

Reorganized Departments: The loosely organized prior departments have been streamlined into two: Dispatches and The Culture File. The former includes entertainment, history, design, politics, business and tech, while the latter is a catch-all for books, cinema, travel and drink. A new signpost—a logo of the image of Poseidon that’s also a nod to the magazine’s past—indicates where each department begins.

Section Story Previews: For now, this feature only exists for The Culture File intro. At the bottom of the section’s first article is a sort of mini-TOC just for the stories that follow, complete with headline and page number. Great idea, especially if you’ve forgotten a page number and don’t want to turn back to the front of the magazine.

Same Great Content: So this technically isn’t a change, but the content is getting an enhancement. Along with the redesign, editors plan to feature more of the magazine’s staff currently writing for its digital properties, The Atlantic Wire and The Atlantic Cities. Still with all the other changes—even as minor as they are—it’s nice to know The Atlantic’s great content is something that can be counted on.