Thursday, November 01, 2012

Alternatives Journal braves change and
comes out as A\J

After: The new A/J
I am a sucker for before-and-after pictures when it comes to magazine design, though sometimes you wonder whether the after is an improvement. 
This is certainly not the case with the redesign of Alternatives Journal, which is being carried out by K9 Design. (The redesign included the magazine's website, which proudly proclaims its "reboot".)
The first, redesigned print issue cover is at right. Below is its predecessor

It's also nice to hear when a magazine's management commits to real change, even if it sometimes scares the willies out of them; such as changing the logo.

K9's creative director Norm Lourenco says 
“When projects such as this redesign come along – we always approach them with a bit of trepidation as they have such a long publishing history. It was nice to be working with a client that said they wanted something new; they wanted change and really meant it. They had no preconceived parameters; nothing was taboo. So often a client says they want to change everything, but insist on so many mandates that real change isn’t possible. The Alternatives team were willing and ready to take some risks starting with their name: Moving to A/J as opposed to Alternatives Journal marks a huge leap for them. We felt the word “Alternatives” left too much up to interpretation, therefore opening the door for potential confusion on the newsstand. Also the word “Journal” had an academic feel/perception that the team wanted to shed. They want to appeal to every day environmentalists and that’s how A/J was born.”
Publisher Marcia Ruby wanted tactically to spruce up newsstand presence and sales and strategically to represent how the magazine's intelligent and informed journalism could contribute to finding a balance between economic and environmental sustainability.
Canadians from coast-to-coast are facing challenging questions and changing climate realities, and they seek clarity and perspective in an easy-to-access format, supported by a strong scientific and research background. It was with this sense of urgency and with this heightened need in mind that we began this redesign project, and based upon initial feedback, A\J is now well-positioned to serve the needs of concerned Canadians and the broader environmental community.


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