One of my favorite mentors once observed that the design of a magazine is like its clothing; a publication needs a new and better-fitting wardrobe every so often, especially if it’s been working hard to get into better shape. Almost six years have passed since Texas Monthly last refreshed its design, so we’re proud to highlight some adjustments we’ve been working on for months.
The most significant change is that we’ve sequenced the magazine’s stories in the manner of a fine meal, with tasty appetizers followed by a variety of main courses and then a sampling of desserts. Our goal is for Texas Monthly to flow more smoothly and to delight readers from the first page to the last (which will continue to be anchored by the popular Texanist column). We believe the updated design will also allow readers to easily find stories about their favorite topics, from smoked brisket to political scandals.
Readers will first be offered a selection of concise stories that illuminate all that’s new in Texas: in politics and policy, medicine and science, business and energy. This front section, which we’re continuing to call the State, will include a dispatch about an intriguing part of Texas in a series called Letter From; the revival of Working Life, told in the words of a Texan with an interesting occupation; a Critter column about one of the state’s many curious creatures; and a dialogue between a prominent Texan and Skip Hollandsworth, one of journalism’s most skilled interviewers. The idiosyncratic Meanwhile, in Texas column will be expanded to a full page.
Our longer features, including the cover story, will occupy the center of the magazine and will soon be displayed continuously, without any of the “jumps” that require the reader to search for the ending on some distant page. We’ve long illustrated our features with beautiful opening spreads, but now our photos and artwork will brighten almost every page, eliminating what previously were gray blocks of solid type in the latter parts of the magazine.
The back pages of Texas Monthly, a new section called Explorer, will cover travel and the outdoors, food and drink, style and design, and arts and entertainment. Our authoritative writing on barbecue and tacos, which is highly popular online, will now appear more regularly in print.
This fresh design reflects the imagination and hard work of a half dozen of my colleagues, led by Emily Kimbro, our creative director, and Ross McCammon, our new deputy editor. Over the past few months, Emily and design director Victoria Millner, with an assist from Texas Monthly alum Brian Johnson, have updated many old templates and created dozens of new ones.
All of us have benefited from the creativity and wisdom of executive editor Jeff Salamon, who first dreamed up what an improved flow of the magazine might look like. While continuing to lead big projects and edit feature stories, Jeff will oversee the new front section of the magazine. Executive editor Kathy Blackwell will supervise the new dessert section while continuing to expertly guide our coverage of travel, the outdoors, style, and design.
I hope you like their handiwork. Please let us know what you think.
This article originally appeared in the October 2023 issue of Texas Monthly with the headline “Texas Monthly’s New Look.” Subscribe today.