Newsweek redesign: Glad I didn’t judge it only by its cover…

I expected something a little edgier when I reached for the cover of the redesigned Newsweek on Monday. After all, the revamp came after the content merger with the magazine’s highly opinionated partner, The Daily Beast.

The Newsweek cover had an all-too-familiar feel with a static portrait of Hillary Clinton. The logo has been nicely retooled, yet is still reversed out of the usual red rectangle. The cover itself didn’t show a glimmer of the attitude found on The Daily Beast site.

So I wasn’t bowled over when I first picked it up. (I initially wondered if the redesign had been postponed until next week.) But, perhaps understandably, these familiar details capitalize on the magazine’s historic brand. The magazine has been around since 1933.

It was when I looked inside that I found new energy—not overly opinionated or distasteful content, but smart design and storytelling, infused with fresh perspective. I found strong photography, tight edits, layered story forms and beautiful grid work.

Pages inside the redesigned Newsweek make good use of feature typography, photographs and layered storytelling.

The typography throughout the book is a nice combination of two faces, Titling Gothic (the sans serif used on the revamped nameplate) and the serif Acta, which has roundish counterspaces and playful, curly features like those on some of the Arabic numerals and the lowercase “a” and “c.” I found the mesh of the typefaces and the way they’re implemented on feature headlines to be fresh and inviting.

The main headline typeface, Acta, was designed by Dino de Santos. It has open counters and playful, rounded touches on numerals and some of the lowercase letters.

Editors have touted a renewed commitment to photojournalism and informational graphics, hallmarks of earlier eras at Newsweek.

Great. I’m in. Subscription, please.

Now, about those covers…

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  • http://www.facebook.com/rivelliphoto William Rivelli

    I’ve been a long-time subscriber to Newsweek and was considering giving it up until the new redesign. What an improvement ! Congratulations to Creative Director Dick Barnett and his staff !!

    William Rivelli
    rivelli@williamrivelli.com