February 21, 2013

Perspicacious newsstand watchers will notice something different about the March edition of The Atlantic that’s now out in the public. There’s an uppercase “T” in the title, where there was once a puny little “t”: “the Atlantic” is now “The Atlantic.”

That’s one of the changes that The Atlantic—via creative director Darhil Crooks—has mixed into the magazine’s redesign. According to an Atlantic release, the changes consist of: “a new visual identity” plus a “new structure and format that place greater emphasis on innovation and creativity in design.” In a highly Atlantiquian essay, editor in chief James Bennet writes that the magazine has survived over the years—it was founded in 1857—both by resisting change and embracing it. Selectively, of course: “Optimism about change—–impatience for it–—was part of the radical founding ethos of The Atlantic, and this has turned out to be a good thing,” writes the editor.

The last page of the mag is now devoted to a feature called “The Big Question.” In this just-out, new-look issue that question is, “What day most changed the course of history?” Okay, but watch out. According to The Atlantic, this huge interrogatory each month will be posed to “a variety of experts and public figures,” holding out the prospect of some boring writing. The first edition of “The Big Question” is a touch sprawling.

Though I haven’t yet put my hands on this thing, the coolest thing about it appears to be “the newly interpreted colophon,” which is a rendering of Poseidon that has “appeared on the magazine’s pages on and off for more than 100 years.”

In the video below, Crooks says that the new Poseidon (on far right) is “definitely more badass, he’s definitely more sexy.”

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.