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MIT Technology Review Magazine Receives Modern Makeover From Pentagram Design
By Mikelle Leow, 22 Jun 2018
Video screenshots via MIT Technology Review
MIT Technology Review magazine, a publication on the forefront of technological trends since 1899, has been given a new sheen. While most readers associate it with its insights for engineering and innovation, creatives might know that it’s also a pioneer of modern design.
The magazine’s visual identity, as you knew it, was put together by design legends Muriel Cooper, Jacqueline Casey, and the MIT Office of Design Services in the 1950s. Its layout was imbued with Swiss typography, the avant-garde appeal of the Bauhaus movement, and American hard-edge abstraction.
Evidently, the iconic aesthetic is far too precious to be wiped out in any way, so the publication decided to appropriate its best features and refresh them for the modern era.
The madeover Technology Review magazine is helmed by global design agency Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and Aron Fay, who immortalized the contemporary efforts of its preceding designers, adjusting their works for print, screen, and real life.
Previously, the magazine used ‘Helvetica’ for its headlines, so it made sense to switch it up to Christian Schwartz’s ‘Helvetica’ upgrade, ‘Neue Haas Grotesk’, for its logo and headings.
Technology Review has also adopted ‘Independent’, a sophisticated and scalable typeface created for The Independent newspaper, to adorn its body text. Supplementary and “nitty gritty” content, including captions, sidebars, and infographics, has been dressed up with a bespoke ‘TR Mono’ typeface.
Altogether, these typographic changes offer legibility, simplicity, and consistency across the magazine’s media.
Video by MIT Technology Review via GIPHY
Another element worth pointing out is the new Technology Review monogram, a stylized capital ‘T’ capped with a 45-degree slit to slyly create a lowercase ‘r.’ While minimal, the avatar is a canvas for “endless adaptation, repetition, and recontextualization,” and can be edited to feature patterns and photos.
Elsewhere, the publication is working to become less text-heavy with imagery that aids storytelling. “[P]erhaps the most noticeable change will be seen in our approach to using imagery,” it writes. “Vivid, dramatic, and in some cases startling, to illustrate narrative, elicit wonder, and convey emotion in our stories.” It aims to subdue information overload with striking photographic work and a new, consistent graphic style across illustrations and infographics.
Have a preview of the redesign. The all-new MIT Technology Review makes its debut with ‘The Techonomy Issue’.
Illustration by Noma Bar for MIT Technology Review
Previous logo (above) via Wikimedia Commons, new logo and typefaces (below) via MIT Technology Review
[via MIT Technology Review, images via various sources]
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