Atlantic Unveils New Look

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The Atlantic November 2008
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The Atlantic November 2008
So while all the magazine heavyweights were supposedly gathering at the American Magazine Conference, the grand-pappy of American magazines was rolling out a redesign in New York. The Atlantic is unveiling a new cover look, plenty more color photography and an advice column on the back page written by none other than Jeffrey Goldberg. (Fear not "Word Court" and "Word Fugitive" fans, those items are only moving; they're not being retired.) A new look for the website goes live later tonight.

In order to roll out the new look, the magazine held a luncheon at Le Cirque in Manhattan on Monday (in one of those strange New York coincidences between high and low culture, the same space was used last Friday for the wedding of Howard Stern). Atlantic Media Chairman David Bradley, President Justin Smith, Publisher Jay Lauf and a host of others descended on New York.

Referencing the late Paul Tsongas, who said, ""The last living cell that will die in my body is the desire to be president of the United States. And there is no treatment for it," Bradley said he felt the same about The Atlantic.

The luncheon was capped off with Goldberg interviewing David Brooks on the topic of "How Success Happens." Of course, this being an election year, politics came up. Brooks, who started off the session by saying Bradley would be hit with a lawsuit for letting Goldberg write an advice column, called the election for Obama.

Redesigning a magazine founded in 1857 is always a little challenging considering the subscriber base tend to get attached to the way things were. And you don't exactly want to ditch the magazine's entire history. But aesthetically, said Editor James Bennet, "it was a bit of a challenge." No kidding. The first issue featured a black and white cover, and the cover boy was none other than John "City on a Hill" Winthrop. But designer Michael Bierut of Pentagram was up to the challenge, going back to a mid-20th-century version of the cover logo, adding in a black sidebar and using the rest for the main feature article of any given month (this month's hodgepodge of all the stories being an exception). The new issues and all issues following will be perfect bound. Bond Art & Science is responsible for the new web design and it's all accompanied by a branding campaign from EuroRSCG. The new issue debuts on newsstands on October 14.
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