The Atlantic Makes a New Mark

Nov 14, 2019


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The Atlantic has launched a new design and product experience—most striking through a new logo and visual identity; a complete redesign of the print magazine, beginning with the December issue, out today; and an iOS app that now offers a more curated, visual, and personal way to navigate The Atlantic’s journalism. This is the most dramatic overhaul of The Atlantic’s visual identity in its 162-year history; the design draws on the best from that legacy while creating an enduring and instantly recognizable mark for The Atlantic wherever readers encounter it. 

These changes arrive two months after The Atlantic launched a digital subscription service, beginning a new era for The Atlantic and for its readers. September and October both drew record numbers of subscribersmore than double the number of subscriptions and revenue originally forecast.

Among thousands of design changes, the most noteworthy is to the logo: The Atlantic nameplate that’s consistently topped the magazine (in different forms) for a century and a half has been updated to a simple and declarative A. The Atlantic also commissioned its first bespoke typeface, Atlantic Condensed, which was inspired by the original type chosen by the magazine’s founders in 1857. The new design also marks the start of a wholesale redesign of the website, beginning with a simplified and streamlined design and user experience.

The North Face is the exclusive launch sponsor of the new design and The Atlantic’s app.

The Magazine

The new visual identity, led by creative director Peter Mendelsund and senior art director Oliver Munday, retains the heritage and sensibility of the 162-year-old magazine while giving as much weight to the design as has long been given to the words. Small design and editorial elements emphasize the magazine's history and ethos: the magazine’s founding year, 1857, is noted quietly on the cover; the mandate of its founders to be "of no party or clique" is prominently noted in the table of contents.

By stripping away many graphics and images, the team created a clean new look that emphasizes the text, while enhancing the reading experience through original photography and illustration.

The December 2019 issue inaugurates this new look, matching the power of the new design with a editorial collection. “How to Stop a Civil War is a singular special edition devoted to explaining this particularly dispiriting moment in America, with essays confronting the question of eroding national unity by writers including Yoni Appelbaum, Andrew Ferguson, Caitlin Flanagan, Megan Garber, Tom Junod, former Secretary of State James Mattis, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Adam Serwer, and Tara Westover. “We don’t believe that the conditions in the United States today resemble those of 1850s America,” Goldberg writes in an introduction. “But we worry that the ties that bind us are fraying at alarming speed—we are becoming contemptuous of each other in ways that are both dire and possibly irreversible.” 

The Atlantic App: A Guide to Ideas

The Atlantic’s new iOS app is a curated, visual, and personal selection of news and ideas that adapts to a reader’s day. The “Today” tab, available without a subscription, reads like a newsletter/homepage/magazine hybrid, coming in carefully crafted editions while serving as a jumping-off point for the best of The Atlantic’s reporting and ideas of the moment. The design is bold, with whimsical visual cues throughout, such as handwritten greetings based on the current time of day for the reader (when read late at night, the app asks: “Still Awake?”). 

New features include:

  • “Today,” a curated daily digest. Atlantic editors bring readers the stories that made them think. Exclusively available in the iOS app.
  • Ad-free articles, now also available in Dark Mode.
  • Offline reading. Save articles and download more than 150 archived magazine issues to read later. 
  • The Atlantic Crossword. Solve puzzles right in the app.

An annual Atlantic subscription unlocks unlimited access to the app and TheAtlantic.com; monthly app subscriptions may also be purchased via the App Store. 

The app is the culmination of months of collaboration among the editorial, product, engineering, and growth teams, and will inform the next generation of The Atlantic’s digital platforms. 


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