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Redesign Diary #5: Spread 'em

This Magazine Staff

This Magazine Redesign DiaryThe March-April 2009 issue arrived at the office yesterday and will be in stores next week; subscribers will also receive it very soon. This will be my last entry on the redesign for now, although we’ll continue tweaking details and refining the look as we go. There will also be some exciting news about our website in the next little while — but our pending online redesign is a story for another day.
After the jump are a couple of spreads as they appear in the March-April issue. The really exciting thing about this redesign, which wasn’t true of the facelifts we’ve done before, is that there is now colour on every page, instead of just a few. (For most magazines, full-colour publishing is old news, but we wanted to make sure it wasn’t a fad. That’s our story, anyway).
The temptation early on was to saturate every page with colour, as if we were making up for decades of plain black and white in one fell swoop. Needless to say, these great splotchy pages were pretty ugly to look at, and hard to read too. Much of the redesign has been a process of paring the design elements back to their bare essentials, simplifying the colour scheme, and eliminating as much clutter as possible.
The colour palette is a simple one, with yellow and blue dominating.

Yellow is used to mark headlines and other display type.
Cyan is used to mark sections and other navigation elements.
Red is used as an accent colour.

And that’s it, really. Three simple colours to tie the whole magazine together, so that the words and pictures can do the heavy lifting.
OK, enough talk: here are the spreads. They’re not big enough to read the articles, so you’ll have to buy the magazine (subscribing is a great way to do that, by the way). Thanks for reading these little updates. Please let us know what you think of the new look and the new features by emailing me any time at editor at this magazine dot ca.


This is a spread from the columns section of This & That, featuring Bruce Hicks on proportional representation and RM Vaughan on the Baby Boomers:
Spread from the redesigned March-April 2009 issue of This Magazine
This is a feature spread of Jordan Heath-Rawlings’ story on new ideas in car-free urban design:
Spread from the redesigned March-April 2009 issue of This Magazine
This is a spread from Carolyn Morris’ feature on health care for uninsured refugees and migrant workers in Canada:
Spread from the redesigned March-April 2009 issue of This Magazine
This is a new regular feature we’re introducing, “In Profile.” It’s dedicated to profiling individual artists and the political context of their work. Naturally, for our first colour issue, we chose to profile Jillian Tamaki — who does a lot of her art in black and white.
Spread from the redesigned March-April 2009 issue of This Magazine
And this is a spread of a new short story by Mike Spry:
Spread from the redesigned March-April 2009 issue of This Magazine

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