by Michelle Simmons
October 1, 2012
Last spring, I alluded to changes coming to Dickinson Magazine. Well, those changes have come, and you’re now holding a fully redesigned issue. As with all change, the redesign was a process—begun well over a year ago. As Dickinson considered our new visual identity, resulting in a new wordmark and refreshed college seal, we realized that the magazine was due for its own refresh. It had become predictable, said some. It didn’t fully convey the energy and vibrancy of our community, said others.
So we began the process of re-visioning the magazine and asked Landesberg Design, our partners in our 2006 design efforts, to join us. To the serious task of building a magazine from the ground up, they injected their award-winning expertise, their expansive sense of possibility and more than just a hint of playfulness.
While we looked at what other college and university magazines were doing, we also pored through some of the best periodicals on the market today—from Esquire and Smithsonian to The New Yorker and Vermont Life. We mused about all the different ways to tell a good story, whether it be through narrative, photo essay, engaging graphics or multimedia. We argued about what elements should stay and what should go. Through it all, we kept returning to the question of what made the magazine distinctive—what should the college’s flagship publication say?
The answer was obvious: It should simply say Dickinson. And to simply say Dickinson meant capturing our depth of history, our sense of place, our commitment to excellence and our full-throated engagement with the world. It meant celebrating all members of the Dickinson community—alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff and friends of the college—in the big moments and the small.
As the issue began to take shape, we realized we had come full circle, that the stories contained within also pointed to change—how people are both effecting and managing change, what’s worth keeping and when to let go. In these pages, you’ll hear from Dickinsonians gracefully navigating the twists and turns of an industry in crisis, get a peek at a report on the value and long-term impact of the liberal-arts experience and meet a teacher whose students aspire to much more than passing standardized tests. You’ll also find out how the director of dining services stays in shape, why we just can’t get enough of WDCV and how we scooped the satiric publication The Onion by about 100 years.
So, although we’ve introduced some great new elements like Ask the Archivist and are shamelessly leveraging the phenomenal talent of College Photographer Carl Socolow ’77, there’s one thing that hasn’t changed—our focus on what matters most: you, our readers. We’re eager to hear what you think, so e-mail us at email@example.com, post on our Facebook page or drop us a line or two the old-fashioned way—with paper, ink and stamp.