The new year will bring a new look to your favorite magazine. Commonweal’s appearance hasn’t changed often in its eighty years of publication-which is not to say it hasn’t changed much. As this anniversary issue’s cover shows, we’ve come a long way, even if only incrementally. Now it’s time for another face lift. Commonweal hasn’t been redesigned since 1987, when both the magazine’s look and its logo were revamped-the previous logo change occurred in 1965. Now, to coincide with our eightieth birthday year, under the supervision of Associate Editor Grant Gallicho and in collaboration with our cover designers, Liska + Associates, we’ve done a wall-to-wall remodeling.
This doesn’t mean any walls were knocked down. So there’s no need to panic: you’ll still recognize the place. The usual section markers will remain: letters; editorials; columnists; shorter articles; longer ones; book, stage, and screen reviews; and of course the Last Word. They just have a new coat of paint. You’ll note the conspicuous absence of thick, heavy bars and blocks of gray. In Commonweal’s new layout, lightness will be the order of the day. The idea is that lighter typefaces and more white space should make the magazine more inviting to readers-not just our faithful subscribers, but new ones, too. (Especially those of the younger generation.) Editorially, we’ll have more freedom in the new design, whether it’s in ginning up a special article treatment or in the ability to write longer (better?) headlines. Look for the redesign in the first issue of the new year, January 14, 2005.
In the meantime, we encourage you to take the rest of 2004 to enjoy the cornucopia of this anniversary issue. Don’t feel you have to read the whole thing at once! Pick and choose, and then come back for more. We’d recommend starting with Wilfrid Sheed and the O’Gara sisters, and then moving on to the longer pieces. Take a breather if you need one. We know we needed one after putting this sixty-four-page celebration together.
One last favor. When you’ve finished reading, lend your copy to a friend or even to a stranger. Eighty years is worth celebrating-and sharing.