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Brand new look, same great chemistry

by Bibiana Campos Seijo
February 29, 2016 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 94, Issue 9

C &EN’s print magazine is the most powerful mechanism by which ACS communicates with its members. With this issue, we’re thrilled to unveil its brand-new design.

The new magazine is modern, dynamic, and sophisticated, and it maximizes the power of our journalism. All these are attributes that befit the premier news organization in the chemical sciences. But although its look has changed, C&EN continues to provide unmatched coverage of the chemistry enterprise. Indeed, the magazine’s new appearance conveys even more strongly C&EN’s authority as the voice of the chemistry enterprise.

This new design has been in the making for some time. Rather than going with an external firm, we decided to use in-house talent: C&EN’s creative director, Rob Bryson, spearheaded the project. Rob and his team are responsible for creating the magazine and related products on a daily basis, so they know the C&EN brand and its audience inside out. What you see here today represents a year of work by his team—with support from the rest of C&EN’s staff. It includes several rounds of prototype design; extensive consultation with editorial, marketing, and sales staff; as well as reader testing conducted through the ACS Insight Lab and focus groups.

The new C&EN looks very different from the magazine that you have grown accustomed to. The cover signals the clean, uncluttered look that will follow when you open the magazine. The new logo reflects modern typography and marks a departure from the old design. Our aim with this change is to develop a clear and strong brand identity that emphasizes the adoption of “C&EN” because this is how many of our readers know and refer to us.

But most important, in response to the results of a strategic audit we conducted in 2014, we have changed the structure of the magazine. Readers told us then that they prefer short-reading news content, with our science coverage topping the list in terms of the topic they like best. We listened, and to better serve your needs and expectations, we have united short-reading news items in the front of the magazine in a new section called Concentrates. This section is divided into Science, Business, and Policy. The change puts short-form science coverage—the thing you said you value the most—at center stage.

This new Concentrates section also introduces topic-based navigation, which we’ve implemented across the redesigned magazine and will eventually carry through to C&EN’s website and other electronic products. Each story contains a topic-based keyword—for example, climate, drug discovery, or 2-D materials—that will help you quickly assess whether it will interest you.

The Concentrates section is followed by four to six feature stories offering a breadth of topics. After this, you’ll find the cover story, which we’ve given a bolder and more inviting treatment to reflect its importance and maximize its impact.

The ACS News section will follow with Classifieds, which we have rebranded C&EN Jobs, and finally the ever-popular Newscripts.

In summary, the new magazine is visually striking and easier to navigate, providing plenty of opportunities to draw you in as you browse through.

To explain these changes in a more graphical fashion, Rob has prepared a guide on how to navigate the new C&EN, which you can find on the next page. Tell us what you think of the redesign on Facebook ( or on Twitter (@cenmag), and we’ll enter you in one of our daily giveaways—you could even win a drone (see page 32).

Redesigned versions of the C&EN Mobile app and website are already in the works. Our aim is to create an integrated and dynamic experience for our readers so all our properties feel part of a cohesive family of products—no matter how, when, or where you are consuming our journalism. We hope you like it.

Views expressed on this page are those of the author and not necessarily those of ACS.


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