Almost the New Newsweek


Much has been written about the redesign of Newsweek magazine. It’s been on the stands for about four issues now. Plazm has a unique perspective on the new design. About nine months ago, we became one of three design firms contracted to reimagine, redesign and reposition Newsweek magazine. We partnered with our friends at SmithMag and, under a blazing 3-week deadline, we wrote, designed, and developed a complete prototype issue from scratch for the new Newsweek. Although we didn’t win the pitch, we were honored to be asked and had a blast working day and night to upgrade the magazine.

The typography in this prototype is a beta font designed by longtime Plazm collaborator Gus Nicklos to represent the new Newsweek brand. Its overall perspective points to the future while its proportions and contemporary optic properties give it high legibility at small sizes. The beta version includes three initial variants: Regular, Italic and Black as well as custom Slab Serif characters created for initial caps. This approach signals an evolution of the Newsweek brand towards the future with every typeset letter.

We developed a new Newsweek Signature utilizing a modified version of Gus’ custom type. Slab serifs have been added to the initial cap N as well as to the K. These bookends connect the brand to its rich typographic heritage while the bold geometric sans suggest a contemporary vision. The slabs are also brought forward as the basis for initial caps, the N as a supplement brand, and the edge of the K as a mnemonic graphic device suggesting forward movement and pointing to all web call outs.

You can view some of the spreads from our prototype on our web site.

Happy to hear any comments.

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