Good Fortune Redesign

This week saw the premiere of Fortune
magazine’s redesign (top and bottom). Four separate covers were printed of
soldiers who are the next wave of business executives.
Founded in 1930
by Henry Luce, Fortune cost $1.00 a copy at the height of the Great
Depression. And for those wealthy enough to buy it, they were given a
lot for their money: 11 x 14 inches on heavy paper, printed in
rotogravure. Its first cover was designed by T.M. Cleland, and Will Burtin and Leo Lionni (among others) would later serve as art directors. Its covers were done by the likes of Fernand Leger, Paolo Garetto, Ladislav Sutnar and Diego Rivera, among others. Walker Evans and Margaret Bourke-White’s lush black and white photos graced its pages. 
We asked John Korpics, who redesigned Fortune, about this latest incarnation. Here’s what he said:

Why the redesign?
This is
part of a wholesale reinvestment in the brand. Better paper, better
cover stock, new frequency rate, new web editor (Daniel Roth) to build
up the online presence, new creative director (myself) to improve
(hopefully) the look, feel and navigation of the book, and a
significant amount of new content, all part of an effort to revitalize
the brand while also retaining the core deep dive reporting and writing
that makes the magazine experience unique.

What do you feel is the most unique quality of the redesign?
On a strictly design nerd level, I love it as a textural experience.
The combination of classic business typography, tough geometric sans
mixed with elegant heavily weighted serifs, information graphics and
charts, a fantastic variety of photography and illustration.
How do you view the redesign compared to other current major redesigns?
and newsstand buyers don’t notice design, but they notice when there is
personally relevant content. We spent almost a year exploring the kinds
of content our readers were interested in, and then we created new
pages, new sections and new ways of presenting information that
responded directly to those needs.
How do you see the redesign in the continuum of Fortune?
It’s the first step in what I hope will be a long and always evolving
process. I think we’ve solved a lot of the content delivery problems,
making sure readers know exactly what a page has to offer, and then
making it almost impossible for them to skip over it. Beyond that, I
love figuring out ways to design the modern day version of a magazine
with such a rich visual history. Finding ways to work in little visual
moments that are inspired by the great old Fortune while at the same
time exploring ways to define it as a modern business magazine.




Daily Heller, Imprint: Print Magazine's Design Blog

About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.

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