Design of The Times
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ONCE UPON A TIME, MAGAZINES redesigned every few years, in response to changing tastes and the possibilities presented by evolving technology. These days, if you want to ensure that the sell-by date on your most creative impulses doesn’t pass, it makes sense to redesign more often. This month, thanks to the hard work of editorial director Christopher Keyes, creative director Scott Dadich, associate art director T. J. Tucker, and senior editors Katharyn Rodemann and Patricia Sharpe, we introduce another round of architectural tweaks for the purpose of making Texas Monthly even better than it already is. Some are cosmetic, but others are more significant, so I thought I’d take a moment to explain what you’re about to encounter and our thinking behind it.
The Reporter section (we’ve dropped the Texas Monthly lead-in as a nod to reality, since Reporter is what everyone calls it) has expanded from seven pages to more than seventeen. The stand-alone columns you’re used to seeing—by longtime contributors like Anne Dingus and Jim Atkinson—are augmented by a few new ones, including the reintroduction of William Martin’s church reviews, which first ran in our pages in the late seventies; an essay about the link between Texas and Hollywood, by Christopher Kelly, the winning young film critic for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram; and, dipping our toe into relatively uncharted waters, a conspicuous-consumption page by veteran style writer Amy Prince. We’ve also moved Captain Jonathan Moss’s dispatches from Iraq and Texas Monthly Talks, our monthly long-form Q&A, into the section to give it more heft. The result is an extremely readable front of the book—the fabled magazine within a magazine.
That new front of the book is uncluttered by the Around the State listings that were a mainstay of Texas Monthly for three decades. Back in the day, for agate-type information on what to do and where to go and what to see, we were the only game in town; now every daily and weekly newspaper and—more important—the Internet disseminate those addresses and phone numbers and exhibition dates and sports schedules. We’re about doing what no one else does, so we’ve decided to cut way back on the number of pages devoted to events and refashion them as a guide to the most interesting, most enjoyable things to do in Texas each month. We’ll pore over all that’s out there with a discerning eye; we’ll do the filtering for you, beginning with Jordan’s Pick, the one event that’s tops on assistant editor Jordan Breal’s list and should be tops on yours.
You’ll find this new events section in the back half of the magazine, paired with our rejiggered restaurant listings in a new section called—surprise—The Filter. We’ve raised the bar that restaurants must get over to be considered good enough to be reviewed; we’ve also added space to Pat’s Pick, the write-up of Patricia Sharpe’s favorite new restaurant of the month, and given special play to other notable openings. And we’ve expanded the number of city headings in our listings to be more inclusive; residents of Amarillo, Midland-Odessa, the Rio Grande Valley, and Tyler-Longview, your wishes are granted. (The full run of our restaurant and events listings will still be available each month—and every day—on our Web site, texasmonthly.com.)
We think these changes will better serve you. What do you think? Please let us know.