Inside the National Journal Redesign

When the National Journal decided it was time for a redesign, the editorial team knew there were some things they had to let go. With their successful website platform now handling some of the more immediate and timely pieces, the magazine had to find the right balance between breaking news and lasting story.

The redesign is done in context with this new reality. They are aware that digital has not made print obsolete, but that it does require a deeper understand of what print is really, really good at. And it is here that they began their redesign.

“A print magazine, we believe, is for narrative writing that is beautifully crafted and deeply reported. It’s for journalism that takes big ideas seriously,” writes National Journal’s Richard Just.

“It’s for long pieces that feel short because they’re truly fun to read. It’s for telling stories that are complicated and nuanced—as almost all stories worth knowing are. It’s for describing the characters, famous or unknown, who shape American democracy—and for understanding their agendas, their motivations, their flaws, their strengths. It’s for publishing established, brilliant writers, and also for discovering the next generation of storytelling stars.

In a political landscape full of sound bites and silly memes, this kind of in-depth journalism — sans bias, intelligently told and well-crafted — is more necessary than ever. It’s the kind of journalism that demands attention and space, and print is the proper vehicle for these stories, Just believes.

“Finally, we believe that essential to the experience of reading a great print magazine is a beautiful design—elegant fonts, striking illustrations, excellent photography,” Just continues.

The magazine’s new look is modern, sleek and rich, managing to be intellectually intriguing and emotionally accessible at the same time. And the writing, as always, is impeccable. It’s a fantastic reimagining of a much-needed resource for any educated voter in this country.