Welcome to our redesigned magazine

With this issue, Dialann enters its fourth year. In that time, our family has changed a lot: Fiona has grown up to become a smart, curious, and talented little girl; we moved from Washington, D.C., to New York City; and just this month Colin joined our family. And as we move into 2014, some big changes are coming to our magazine.

The first thing you might have noticed is that the pages are a different size. Blurb, where we have printed each issue, has made a change to its “standard portrait” book size. In the past, Blurb projects in this size, including Dialann, were 7.75 by 9.75 inches (19.69 by 24.77 centimeters). With the new year, to conform with industry standards, Blurb is changing the dimensions of its standard portrait size to 8 by 10 inches (20.3 by 25.4 centimeters)—an increase of ¼ inch (.64 centimeter) in both directions. Our template, which is pretty exact, will no longer work.

But we had already planned on redesigning our magazine and changing its size. Some time ago, Blurb introduced new magazine and brochure options. Each is 8.5 by 11 inches (21.6 by 27.9 centimeters), which is the size we would have preferred for our magazine in the first place. And they are less expensive to print, to boot: we will save over $40 a year in printing costs.

And while we’re adapting to a new size, we figured, why not freshen up the design of the magazine with it? We had to redesign the template anyway, so we went all out. You’ll notice it from the front cover, where we have a new masthead, through all the pages of this issue and those that follow. We hope that this new look continues the high quality of design that we feel we’ve established for our magazine. We also hope it simplifies and liberates the design process by getting rid of the borders and other elements that constrained it previously. The design of Dialann.org has been updated to match. One thing that has not changed, however: the typefaces, Adobe Text and Hypatia Sans (see Dialann 12.13), used throughout the magazine. Not everything needs to be different. Not to mention that we spent $58.30 on the italic version of Hypatia Sans when we launched this magazine—we need to get a little more mileage out of it!

In addition to changes to the look of the magazine, there are some substantial changes to the content and organization of the magazine as well. The sections Here & There and Our Times have been discontinued, at least for the time being. Though we certainly want to remember things going on in the world around us—after all, our family lives in the context of and is often impacted by goings-on in the larger world—they also took up an increasing amount of time to produce. And time, now that we have two children, is scarcer than ever. If we are going to spend our time writing and assembling a magazine, we’d rather that time be spent recording memories of—or making memories with—our own family.

Milestones, which alternated with Here & There in every other issue, will now run in every issue and cover the previous three months rather than six. It will normally appear on this page, opposite the Table of Contents, which has been redesigned and appears on the inside front cover. (One of the advantages of the new printing option is that we can now make use of the inside covers, which we couldn’t do previously.) Our annual holiday letter, printed in each January issue, will now appear at the front of that issue, after the Table of Contents and Milestones, since it provides a good look back at the previous year.

Soon we will introduce two new sections featuring highlights from our online lives and photography. Our daily social-media interactions capture our life in a way that can’t be matched by a magazine printed every three months, and we take photos of our family on a nearly daily basis. We wanted some way to preserve and share those insights into our lives here in the pages of our magazine. Look for them to take shape over the coming issues.

It has been a challenge both to assemble a workable, beautiful layout and accompanying template and to say farewell to our old look, which served us so well and will be preserved in our memories forever. Susan reminded me that a redesign is always awkward, and I’m sure we’ll tweak things in coming issues. But here it is, so please enjoy.


This article appeared on page 3 of Issue 13 | January 2014.

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