October 2nd, 2009
The new Internazionale design is published today.
This magazine has built a very loyal following since it was founded 16 years ago. Readers are passionately engaged with the title (it has 25,000 Facebook fans) and circulation is growing fast. The content is an eclectic collection of some of the best writing, photography and cartoons from all over the world (a lot comes from the best US, British and European newspapers and magazines, but there’s also a great deal from many other sources from Brazil to Indonesia). They take the translation and copy-editing very seriously, and the result is not just a press review, but a collection of the very best short- and long-form journalism with a suprisingly coherent voice. And they are now commissioning a lot of their own material too.
I was asked to “polish, refresh, update, rationalise, and make it more elegant”.
I’ve been working on this project (ably assisted by Richard Turley) for most of this year. We went through a few iterations before arriving at this design and I’m very happy with the finished product. The real breakthrough was when we started working with Kai Bernau’s Lyon text font, which we first saw in the New York Times magazine. Italian news magazines tend to be a little hyperactive, with lots of different typefaces, colours and graphic elements. So the concept here was to move away from that with a very stripped-down but readable design, in the mode of the New Yorker or The Economist. I took this as a challenge to see if it could work in just one font, and the Lyon worked brilliantly on everything, from headlines to text to infographics.
The only thing I would have done differently is the cover; Internazionale were understandably nervous about changing a winning formula, and we deferred to their anxieties by retaining the colour scheme, the curved panel at the top, and the old logo (although it was subtly redrawn by Paul Barnes). I would have preferred to change the cover more but I understand the reluctance to mess with a magazine that sells mainly on newsstands, and whose circulation has grown by 27% in the last year! In a case like this you have to accept that the client knows best.
A selection of pages follows (click all images to enlarge). There’s also a few photos from the launch here. And as I mentioned before, I’ll be talking about the redesign at the Internazionale conference in Ferrara on Sunday.