Between the Lines: March-April 2002

March 31, 2002

 

Ben Franklin, considered the founding figure of American magazines, was concerned not just with words and ideas but also with visual impact in print. He used the latest typestyles in his Pennsylvania Gazette.

Since it began in 1983, Duke Magazine has thought of itself as a magazine dedicated to ideas. But not every interesting idea is a big idea. In that spirit, the magazine has worked to reinvigorate the pacing of the reading experience.

The newly paced production mixes in departments--such as "Gazette," the campus news section, and a "Q & A" with a faculty expert on some timely issue--with longer features. Information boxes are a more frequent feature accompaniment. The "Alumni Register," historically embedded in the center pages, now follows rather than interrupts the feature content. And the magazine ends with "f-stop," which presents an arresting campus scene. Some issues back, the magazine revamped its cover to be more inviting and image-rich.

One conspicuous consequence of the rethinking is "Face Value," which makes its debut in this issue. Conceived by Chris Hildreth, director of University Photography, "Face Value" is both a continuing department in the magazine and an evolving portrait exhibit in the Gothic Reading Room of Perkins Library. The goal is to showcase staff, faculty, and students--not just as portrait subjects but also as individuals reflecting on how they value Duke and how they value their life priorities. Hildreth, working with University Photography's Brent Clayton, says he prefers to "create an image with my subjects rather than just take a picture of them."

This issue offers in-depth exploration, extending even to the ocean depths, in a package of ideas and images designed to entice and inform.