Between the Lines: March-April 2010

April 1, 2010

There's a Duke characteristic that Richard H. Brodhead noted when he was introduced as president six years ago. While Duke is a place that wraps itself in the traditional garb of neo-Gothic and Georgian architecture, it's also a place possessed of a restless energy. For him, that energy was symbolized by a horizon line broken by construction cranes.

With today's economic stresses, the construction cranes are less evident. But Duke still shows the impulse to innovate, notably in its global outreach, even as it remains respectful of its roots. With this issue, Duke Magazine is aiming to build something new atop a familiar foundation.

Discussions among the editorial staff, our advisory board of professional journalists, and our designer revealed a clear need to change the look and feel of the magazine—and the ease of navigating through it. From time to time, the magazine has responded to similar felt needs; it has added standing departments, for example, and repositioned certain content.

Beyond a cover formula featuring a more contemporary nameplate and a larger image space, the most striking shift is within Gazette, the campus news section. The new structure offers multiple entry points and allows for greater diversity of presentation—catering to "skimmers" and "readers" alike, as magazine designer Lacey Chylack puts it.

The magazine's other departments have also been rethought and repackaged. Quad Quotes, for example, is no longer a gray mass of type on the page; it now has a more imaginative interplay of type treatment and images. Q&A, similarly, has been made over to give visual attention to a particular news event and not just to the interview subject. And the back page, now called Extra Credit, aims to inspire reader engagement.

According to Chylack, the revamped look isn't just "a new wardrobe." Rather, it's "a new fitness plan," pointing to the same nimble quality that characterizes the campus it represents.