Today The Atlantic unveiled an elegant redesign—a new look that mines its 162-year history while looking to the future. The move comes on the heels of the magazine’s introduction of a three-tiered subscription model in September and alongside the arrival of its new subscriber-only app.
Editor-in-Chief Jeffrey Goldberg says the goal of the redesign was twofold. One aim was to “raise the design up to the level of the words,” he says. “Given the history of The Atlantic, we always placed a premium on words. In the past, one view was that if you were spending too much time on design and art, you were going against the seriousness and sobriety of The Atlantic, but a counterview is that art and design are there to help the words be understood. That was the governing impulse of what we’re trying to do.”
The redesign also sought to create a distinctive yet unified visual identity for not only the magazine but its various platforms and communications—something Goldberg believes is crucial given that 30 million readers come to the publication each month across channels. “The flag had changed maybe 20 times in 162 years, so there was no holy grail of design at The Atlantic,” he says. “Over the decades, we sort of accreted design features, so it was like 17 years of wallpaper.”
The boldest element of the redesign is the new logo, a single letter A, with the wordmark that until now served as its flag now appearing in smaller type just below it. Other aspects include a spare, less-cluttered cover—this month’s cover features only a photograph of a dripping blue and red handprint, its silhouette mimicking the United States. A single cover line reads “How to Stop a Civil War,” encapsulating this month’s central theme.