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    Magpie

    Why Magpie? Because I like observing these sleek birds with a tapering tail. And like Magpies, I live with the burden of being a 'chatter', even though I believe that I am rather shy, reserved and unobtrusive :).

    Monday, January 21, 2008

    Redesign: New Look for BusinessWorld

    India's 'most read, most sold' business magazine gets a new sans serif masthead, additional sections and a semi-new inside design this month.

    The January 14 issue of Businessworld (The Home Stretch cover) seems to be the result a redesign process that started about a year ago. The redesign is done inhouse and was overseen by Francesca Messina, former art director, New York Times and Senior Art Director, BusinessWeek. While the magazine now offers much more variety of content to read, the 'redesign issue' does not look very striking, in fact many spreads fail to deliver on the promise of 'cleaner, contemporary, more useful design'.

    Some of the things that could have done with more attention:
    1) Cover: Very poor readability. Black shadow used to make the cover lines stand out ends up making them look ugly.
    2) Section names: Very random and very uninspiring. Some are two words (In Depth, In Vogue) and some are combos (OnPoint) but the strangest in this selection is the pretentious 'fianchetto' where 'i' is in the shape of chess pawn!
    3) Slab serifs: The magazine introduces three new fonts- Miller, Dispatch and TraceGothic. Upon Googling I found that Dispatch was designed for heavy commercial lifting by Cyrus Highsmith. Little wonder than that layouts like the one shown below seem to be from the Industrial Age!

    4) Gangly 'g's: The lowercase 'g' in the section header 'In Vogue' looks very ugly as the loop goes out of the lime-coloured box. Same is repeated in a few other places in where the loop of 'g' spills over to a different box.

    And finally a bright side: The subsequent issue (already on stands) does not look so hastily put together at the first glance :)

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