It was August 1987. The Living Daylights, the first Bond film of Timothy Dalton's tenure, ruled the box office. Bob Seger's "Shakedown" topped the charts. And BUSINESS NORTI-I CAROLINA, just shy of 6 years old, suddenly changed the way it looked. In reality, the redesign had been months in the making. The most obvious difference was the cover, with a bold masthead and white border. That was ironic, considering that in the same issue we announced that one of our old cover designs had just won first place in a national competition. But it was time for a change, and the white box became a defining characteristic, like Time's red frame. The new design also won national awards, but what was fresh and bold became stale and old. So now its gone.
This issue introduces our first comprehensive redesign in 26 years. Through the years, the magazine has seen many changes, but the more things changed, the more our basic look stayed the same. Had we, a magazine that celebrates an ever-changing state economy, become a slave to tradition? Were we like the companies we criticize for being stuck in the past? Did our design still work? What you hold in your hands answers this inner turmoil.
It's one thing to know you should change; it's another to have the ability to. That changed when we hired James Denk as art director in August and began the process that led to the redesign. We gave you Jim's bona fides a few months ago (UpFront, November 2013)--among them, stints as creative director of The Charlotte Observer and design director of the Detroit Free Press Sunday magazine--but his resume doesn't do justice to his talent. He turns complicated ideas into compelling graphics (check out pages 64 and 65 to see what I mean) and is a gifted illustrator (the cover is but one example of his work in this issue). Two words--dean and elegant--guided him, creating a design that magnifies editorial and art by letting them speak for themselves.
Using his framework, we reimagined two major sections of the magazine. NCtrend used to present two pages of rote...