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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Keeping up with the times

In with a new feel, look for 2014

Welcome to the start of a redesign and content refinement to unfold in The Lutheranduring this new year. Publications need to keep pace with the ever-changing world in which they operate, and a denominational magazine is no different.

Two things should (hopefully) already be obvious: the quality of the paper and the appearance of the flag/logo/nameplate (and in some circles masthead). Paper was the easiest and at the same time hardest move. Over the past eight years paper quality was downgraded three times to trim costs. While that freed up money for other uses, it detracted from the magazine’s general appearance. So we’re back to where we were in a bid to assert the stability and worth of this publication to its readers and advertisers.

The flag is another matter. As you can see at right, The Lutheran has used various designs, hoping to catch the spirit of the day (the 1943 version is my favorite). With the help of a design firm, we opted for the contemporary look of a type font called Interstate. After much debate, we dropped the red outline of the “t” that rendered it as a cross, a distinction of the flag in two forms for 28 years. Our name, cover art and cover lines should continue to make it clear that this is a Christian publication.

Inside, new headline and body type should give the magazine a cleaner, more readable appearance. For the record, the body type is Minion Pro, 10.5 point on 12.5 leading. Headlines, decks, pull quotes and department heads all come from the Helvetica Neue family of fonts.

Interior design and content changes will take place gradually. Some publications opt for dramatic, right-now alterations. It’s our conviction that doesn’t work well in a 183-year-old religious journal (our oldest direct predecessor was The Lutheran Observerstarted in 1831).

Content will change too. We dropped the “Youngchurch” page last year and received only one comment. This year, news of ELCA higher education moves to the news pages. New columns and features are in the works. By the end of the year, The Lutheran will still be the magazine of the ELCA, yet always being made new.


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