Iconic National Geographic Magazine introduces redesigned print edition

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On the heels of one of the most successful years in National Geographic magazine’s 130-year history, the iconic print publication is introducing a bold new redesign, with new visual story forms, thought-provoking essays, and even more stunning photography.

The May issue, on print newsstands April 24, explores and illuminates the frontiers of our world, from the depths of the ocean to the frontlines of culture, always with an eye for understanding the people, places, and ideas that shape our planet. Through dynamic new sections, type faces, premium paper stock, and more of the breathtaking photography that has engaged audiences for over a century, the iconic yellow border will continue to offer a portal to the farthest reaches of the Earth and beyond.

Goldberg and Smith worked on the strategy and redesign of the magazine with a firm whose team of editors, designers, and marketers come from some of the nation’s top publications, including WIRED, The Atlantic, Fast Company, The New Yorker and Los Angeles magazine. GDP was engaged to identify and distill the core values that would serve as the foundation for the magazine’s next chapter.

What’s Changed

The redesigned National Geographic magazine includes pages that are easier to navigate and more exciting, with dynamic new sections at the front of the magazine. There is more space for stunning photography. New typefaces are adapted from styles that harken to its past, but are updated to reflect today’s sensibilities. The magazine is now printed on two new premium paper stocks, making the photographs more lush and rich, and giving the magazine itself a more luxurious feel to the hand.

Three distinct sections in the front of the magazine provide an energetic and captivating introduction:

Proof—Dedicated to short photo essays highlighting new, provocative perspectives.
Embark—Investigating new ideas and arguments, challenging readers’ views of the world and everything in it.
Explore—Adventure pieces that allow the reader to journey, escape boundaries, and investigate the great mysteries of life. New elements include “Atlas,” a story told through maps, and “Through the Lens,” the backstory of a single, memorable photograph.

Even more emphasis on visual storytelling: Instead of four or five feature stories of roughly the same length in each issue there will now be several shorter, visual features rich with illustrations and photos; two traditional-length stories with the deep, global reporting and imagery that are the magazine’s hallmark; and one major, marquee package.

A bolder design and new typefaces: Two typefaces were created, inspired by both historical typefaces and pioneers who have helped build the legacy of the magazine. The first is Earle, named in honor of legendary oceanographer and National Geographic Society Explorer-In-Residence Sylvia Earle, who was the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The second is Marden, based on an archival type that’s been updated and digitally re-cut for a clean, new look. It pays tribute to Luis Marden, an adventurer and photographer who was a pioneer in color photography.

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