Foreign policy redesign, 2014

"The world enters 2015 much changed … at Foreign Policy, we are committed to covering such change in ever-innovative, sharp, and agile ways." -the editor

 

Redesign team

Editor-in-Chief Mindy Bricker,
Creative Director Lindsay Ballant,
o Banquinho

Foreign Policy launched in 1970 as what the editor describes as an "East Coast policy-opinion echo chamber," but has since evolved to become an increasingly diverse source of news and opinions for an international readership. o Banquinho collaborated with the FP team to develop a unique and flexible framework that enables a greater emphasis on storytelling, both verbal and visual.

The logo

The logo enjoys substantial reader recognition that we didn't want to compromise, so we made subtle changes that brought it in line with the new mission and identity without losing the original personality. The updated version is based on Tiempos, which is also the serif workhorse. We customized the letterforms to create a shared serif between the two; a visual parallel to our increasingly interconnected world.

 

The FP staff is small, so it was also important to develop a system in which each page feels unique and fresh, but is in fact tightly templated so the art department can produce the front and back of book quickly, freeing the designers to spend more time on the feature well. We developed a type-centric identity with distinctive pages that reinforce the journalistic, immediate nature of the content in a format that is easy to implement. 

Sightlines

The front-of-book department is largely visual, populated with photo essays, data-driven infographics, and conceptual illustration. The type treatments, in contrast, are bold yet understated. The section opener is given over to a typographic illustration of a quote drawn from the section.

 
Observation Deck

The back-of-book section contains a series of in-depth, thoughtful, and opinionated long-read articles. It opens with a literal or conceptual map tied to an article within the section. Oversize, partially-obscured drop caps visually reinforce the magazine's goal of revealing obscure or under-reported information. A signature "skyline" horizon creates an open, inviting framework for the copy-intensive pages. The last page is a collection of predictions about a specific topic, sorted by accuracy.

 

To facilitate ongoing design and production, o Banquinho created an extensive library of templates for the front- and back-of-book matter to give the FP team a wide array of plug-and-play page designs that accommodate a range of content lengths and a variety of supporting art styles and sizes. Shown below is a representative selection of the template library.

REAL SIMPLE REDESIGN, 2014

Real Simple has a history of incredibly talented creative and art directors. This legacy was an invaluable asset as we embarked on the redesign. 

 

Redesign team

Editor-in-Chief KRISTIN VAN OGTROP,
Design Director ABBEY KUSTER-PROKELL,
Director of Photography CASEY TIERNEY-STENGER,
design direction and development: o Banquinho

We started by looking back at some of the most successful iterations of the magazine, with a particular focus on the inaugural design by legendary creative director Robert Valentine. He used type and white space in a refreshing and modern way, and we decided to use similar design principles as a starting point for this redesign. 

The magazine's content has evolved quite a bit over the years. The range of stories is more diverse, as are the frameworks they are wrapped in. There are multiple entry points and multiple reading pauses: subheads, sub-subheads, decks, decks to subheads, lead-ins, bullets, annotations, and tips. The new design had to accommodate this broad editorial palette while maintaining a minimalist aesthetic. We made the decision early to strip out extraneous graphic devices, and rely on a carefully curated group of typefaces to carry the visual interest of the magazine, along with sumptuous illustration and photography.

Real Simple has four sections that establish The editorial and visual voice of the magazine are establish in the front- and back-of-book sections described below.

 
The Realist
 

"The Realist" opens the book, and is full of quick tips to make the reader's life easier. This section didn't change much from a content standpoint, so our primary focus was to add more entry points to the stories, and to audit the existing art approach ... keeping the elements that meshed with our new framework, and adding new art solutions as needed. We spent a lot of time dialing in just the right voice to open the magazine. Shown below are section pages designed by the Real Simple art directors (top) followed by some of our early page explorations.

The Realist is full of quick every-day tips to make the reader's life easier.

 
The guide

"The Guide," dense and information-rich, is the heart of Real Simple. Every month it features in-depth information on beauty tips and products; fashion; health and exercise; and home- and family-related topics. It is very dense, with lists, graphs, charts, read-through stories ... a veritable treasure trove of helpful information. We decided to open the section with a mood-board style mini-TOC to provide a visual preface for the action-packed pages that follow. Shown below are pages from the section designed by the Real Simple art directors, followed by some of our early page explorations.

"The Guide" is the heart of the magazine.

 
Food

"Food" anchors the back of the book with useful information and how-tos. It is essentially an entire section dedicated to recipes, supplemented with information  about food storage and preparation; and cooking techniques. We realized that the section was more engaging as an integrated package, so developed a framework with related content interwoven across the pages rather than divided into subsections. We also revisited how the photography was shot, going from busy tabletop vignettes to clean sets that direct attention to the food. Shown below are "Food" pages designed by the Real Simple art directors, followed by some of our early page explorations.

This is a whole section dedicated to recipes.

 
The System

Each of the sections has a distinct voice that sets them apart from one another. The consistent type treatments and the underlying two-grid system (developed to use their photo assets to best advantage) tie them together. We developed an extensive template library for the four sections to serve as a starting point for the designers working within this new identity. Following is a selection of pages from that template library.  

Credits: Design Director: Abbey Kuster-Prokell Art Director: Alyce Jones Design Team: Katie Field Cindi Lee Alexa Speyer Dina Ravvin Design Team during redesign development: Alexandra Mooney Tova Diamond Taylor Givens Photo Director: Casey Stenger Photo Edit Department: Kelly Clark Emily Kinni Photo department during redesign: Brian Madigan Monica Siwiec

WIRED redesign, 2013

"Let's break some stuff." —Scott Dadich 

 

Redesign team

Editor-in-Chief Scott Dadich,
Design Director Claudia de Almeida,
Design Development Editor Margaret Swart

When editor in chief Scott Dadich took the reins at Wired in late 2012, magazines were in the midst of a sea change, and Wired was at the forefront. The print magazine was (and is) the flagship product, but the web site had become a go-to source for many of our readers, and we were taking advantage of the interactive opportunities that the digital editions offered. It was a perfect time to rethink what it meant to be WiredWe had the challenging and exciting task of developing a new visual voice that maintained the dynamic and unexpected gestalt historically embraced by the magazine, but housed in a tightly-built system that would allow us to work quickly and to extrapolate the new identity across multiple channels, as well as associated brand materials and subsidiary products.

The first step: The editors re-imagined the front of book content into four sections, each with a distinct purpose that required a bespoke visual identity. These sections would be the foundation, from both an editorial and design standpoint, for the rest of the magazine. 

Once the direction of the content was set, we created a design framework in which the basic tenets were constant across the board: The four sections were all built on a seven-column grid with a designated top clear space and some variant on a  "metadata" element that housed page furniture. All display type had a same-size head/deck relationship, and all non-display specs (body, captions, and marginalia)  were the same. With these parameters established, we set out to discover the unique aspects of the individual departments as described below.

 
Section design: Alpha

"Alpha" opens the front-of-book power-pack, with a focus on all that is new (not even in beta yet!) in the Wired world. It covers groundbreaking ideas both large and small, from architecture to technology; from beer to spreadsheets. In the "Alpha" mark (concept by Erica Jang), the "L" is replaced by a "1"  to suggest the first stages of an idea, and the section identity is inspired by the clean open layouts of a white paper. Shown below is the first page from the "Alpha" section in the Wired style guide, followed by a selection of pages from the 20-page template library. 

Alpha: What's new in the Wired world.

 
Section Design: Ultra

"Ultra" covers what the Wired team and the readers are obsessed with. The page geometries are based on a composition of containers—circles and rectangles—in which all content is housed. The "Ultra" mark, designed by Carl DeTorres, is based on a circle, which is also a recurring element in all photos and illustrations. This modular system gave us a bold graphic framework that let us maximize the mix of commissioned and pickup art that supported the content. Shown below is the first page from the "Ultra" section in the Wired style guide, followed by a selection of pages from the 20-page template library.

Ultra: What we are obsessed with.

 
Section design: Q

"Q" is the frequently-asked-questions section, and the identity is inspired by how-to manuals. The framework of the "Q" mark (inspired by a mobius strip) was designed by Carl DeTorres, and for each issue we would commission an illustrator or typographer to create a unique version. The content of the section is primarily tactical ... "how is this done?" ... and formats run the gamut from long-reads and Q&As to diagrammatic stories and "bitsy" items with multiple entry points. Shown below is the first page from the "Q" section in the Wired style guide, followed by a selection of pages from the 20-page template library.

WI_temp_Q1.jpg

Q: The  frequently-asked-questions section. 

 
Section Design: Gadget Lab

"Gadget Lab" is the cool stuff section. The pages are highly visual, with poster-inspired review pages; historic pieces on benchmark products; and cogent industry commentary. The "Gadget Lab" mark, designed by Carl DeTorres, is a playful puzzle-like composition that parallels the "how things work" nature of the section. The page identity is suggestive of a beautiful catalog with a service aspect.  Striking photography is the primary visual component, with sketchy or diagrammatic illustrations used in a secondary role. Shown below is the first page from the "Gadget Lab" section in the Wired style guide, followed by representative pages from the template library. 

Gadget Lab: All about the "cool stuff."