The Atlantic Prepares for “Sweeping Redesign,” Bierut Style

Atlantic.jpgIf you’re like us, you have a love/hate relationship with The Atlantic Monthly: you love the content (come on, we can’t be the only one who clips and laminates those Christopher Hitchens book reviews) but are none too fond of the design. [Enter, flying: Michael Bierut in Superman costume with tastefully designed Pentagram “P” in place of that strident “S.”]

That’s right, in the wake of its recent decisions to ax the monthly fiction section and move its offices to Washington, D.C., from Boston, the Atlantic has commissioned Bierut to oversee “a sweeping redesign,” the New York Post reports. (A good thing, because we found last year’s redesign, well, unsweeping.)

“I don’t think the magazine has ever been design driven; it’s always been word driven. There is very little you can point to in the magazine and say this is an iconic Atlantic that has been handed down through the ages,” [Editor-in-Chief James Bennet] said.

And, having already reviewed 150 years worth of Atlantic covers, Bierut concurs.

“Its visual characteristic has ranged from being very design driven to Norman Rockwell-esque illustrations to photojournalism,” said Bierut, who added that because he has only just tackled the job he hasn’t yet shared ideas with most of the editors.

“The brief is wide open,” he said.