University of Chicago Magazine launches new design

The award-winning University of Chicago Magazine is launching its first major redesign in nine years, with a new look and features that will make it easier for alumni to exchange ideas and hear from University leaders.

The new design, which is launching with the current September-October issue, was developed in close consultation with faculty, administrators and alumni. One addition is a section called Marketplace of Ideas, which will feature members of the University community debating important issues of the day.

"This design has a lot of what we offered before and more, packaged in a more modern and accessible way," said Amy Puma, editor of the University Chicago Magazine.

Founded in 1907, the University of Chicago Magazine has consistently won recognition for exceptional staff writing. It serves as the primary news source about the University for about 75 percent of alumni, reader surveys indicate. In 2011 the publication won a silver award for staff writing from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

International design firm Pentagram supervised the magazine’s overhaul. One of the first changes readers may notice is how the magazine feels. It now comes with a book-like binding, and is slightly smaller than before, so it feels more like a book or literary journal.

Inside, the magazine has improved navigation, to help readers tell at a glance which section they are in. A single section in the front of the magazine will contain campus news, faculty research and stories about alumni in the world.

Other changes include:

- A new feature called On the Agenda, which will contain a contribution from University leaders, beginning with President Robert J. Zimmer.

- The Alumni News section in the back of the magazine will contain rose-tinted paper, “evoking a nostalgia appropriate for that section,” Puma said in an editor’s note accompanying the new issue. Alumni News also will now break out class notes for advanced degrees by school and division.

- Along with the print redesign, the magazine has redesigned its website. The new site will use the same visual cues as the print version, with more web exclusives, a more frequent rotation of stories and an upgraded comments tool.

“Some readers will like our new look right away, others might take time to adjust and some will hate it,” Puma wrote in the editor’s note. “We hope most of you will decide we’re much the same, only better.”

The magazine welcomes reader feedback on the new design to Magazine representatives also will be available at the University’s Volunteer Caucus at the Law School on Saturday, Oct. 22, to talk directly with readers about the redesign.