How to (re) Make Money: Part 1, Print
2012 marks the 40th anniversary of Money Magazine
and what better way to ring in a birthday year than with a new look and a bold new tablet app. Here in part 1 Design Director Neil Jamieson
gives us some insight into how he and his team refined the look of the personal finance magazine in print. (In part 2 he'll tell us all about Money
's tablet version, look for it next week!)
Photographs by Travis Rathbone
This new look was about 6 months in the making. Why so long? This is some pretty complex content and in order to deliver it in a clear, concise and hopefully engaging way I thought it was super important that the art department (all of us personal finance mag newbies) really had a handle on it. This learning period bought us a level of trust from our editors and meant all of our design decisions came from an informed place.
After working with the content for a while we learned that (a) The world's economy is terrifying, (b) that I don't know the first thing about investing and (c) the magazine could use more than just a couple of new fonts and a coat of paint. The editors and I where able to identify the areas that we wanted to address and our "refinement" quickly became a redesign. A lot of the tweaks we wanted to make where aesthetic...we wanted to be more ambitious with our photography, less fussy with our packaging, tighter with our use of color (you know, the usual), but we also wanted to work on different (more graphic) ways to tell our stories, on pacing, on reorganizing/rethinking the front of book, on navigation, and on edit/ad separation. Structure:
We started with the most simple of elements...an ad separating rule...this 1 pica thick black bracket became the hallmark of the new look and served as a nice piece of structure to work around. It acted as a barrier between our edit and some pretty terrible looking ads.
A New Display Face: Early on in the process we fell in love with a font drawn by the Swiss Foundry Lineto called Brauer. The condensed face felt modern and unfussy but it still had lots of personality while being legible and clear. It also was fairly gender neutral which was appropriate for our readership and I liked that it didn't feel too feminine when knocked out. It also paired really nicely with our serif face which we kept from the old design (good ol' Benton Modern). The good folks at Lineto extended the family for me to include custom light and thin weights which made it a little more versatile.
Illustration by Oliver Munday
We then started developing our navigation (which obviously had its uses in the tablet version... more on that in part 2) and defining each section by an accent color (plan: green, health: red etc) which we picked up in the art for each section
Some pages just needed a spring clean... a couple of before (left) and afters (right)
Illustration by Brett Affrunti
Photograph by Ryan Donnell
...Others needed More attention: Sometimes a 500 word narrative isn't the answer, we tried to figure out smarter, more dynamic story telling solutions
Illustration by Vault 49
Infographic by Luke Shuman
Features: The feature well became bolder and more graphic. The art has more room to breathe and the content is more organized and less fussy. Kudos to photo director Ryan Cadiz and his team for their ambition and tirelessness and for turning some super complex ideas into extraordinary images
Illustration by Mark Macho
Photograph by Dan Saelinger
Some Highlights from our double "investor's guide" issue