Power in the Details
How do you like our new look?
[Note: This article refers to changes in the print issue. Slight design
changes have been made to the Web site to reflect the print issue style,
but the differences have been minimal.—Editor]
- By Dian Schaffhauser
If you’ve met me, you know I’m no fashion queen. I still wear the same
style of clothes I wore a decade ago—jeans and Hawaiian shirts—and my
hair style only changes from long to short and back again, depending on
how much time I have in my schedule to get it cut.
But one thing I do pay attention to is magazine style. There’s something
satisfying about hitting the local rack to steal cool ideas from those
publications with budgets 50 times ours and twist them to our own uses.
Yet, you have to be careful when you’re in charge of a magazine. The
desire to tweak it with each issue is irresistible. Readers like their
comfort. When I pick up my favorite publications, I like to know exactly
what I’m going to find. And maybe that’s why magazine redesigns tend to
be so dramatic when they finally happen. Editors and art directors stack
up all their little changes and save them for the day when—surprise!—the
magazine has a new look. I suppose the theory is that if we feed them
to you all at once, you’ll be stunned into ready acceptance.
If you like this redesigned issue, thank our talented art director at
Like me, Michele Seibert-Singh loves magazines. She enjoys working with
artists to create that special combination of pictures, colors, type and
layout that visually spell out “MCP Magazine.” Plus, thank our publisher
Henry Allain (firstname.lastname@example.org),
who pushed for the new look for business reasons. (These days, serious
sells.) If you don’t like it, blame me. I held veto power over everything
First, we’ve moved our product and industry coverage up front. In the
past 12 months, we’ve reviewed more than 300 third-party solutions, utilities,
books and technology training tools among the pages of our magazine, Web
sites and e-mail newsletters. We’ve brought those reviews up front. No,
we don’t run a multi-million dollar testing lab. We rely on the expertise
of people who use the equipment and software on the job and whose reviews
share their experiences as honest-to-goodness humans managing the network.
Second, we’ve given a new look to the columns. If you’re trying to track
down your favorite writers, not to worry—they’re still here; we’ve simply
moved them to a dedicated column section.
Third, you’ll notice our covers look different. We hope you’ll see yourself
reflected in the pictures of people like you that we choose each month.
And we hope you’ll appreciate the minimalist approach to text. The fact
is, we have enough confidence in your loyalty that we don’t believe we
need to shout to get you to open the issue. You’ll also notice a new logo
and a new tagline. Managing the Windows network is what you do and Microsoft
is the company that makes it. That’s where the emphasis should be.
So how stunned are you? One thing that hasn’t changed is my e-mail address:
Dian L. Schaffhauser is a freelance writer based in Northern California.