I spent a lot of time collecting magazines. I analyzed the ones of which I could get two of the same publication but different issues. This one national geographic is good for parts and not for others. The two issues of 26 years apart but show how a magazine can stay the same yet change. Several things stayed the same. The yellow and boarder on the cover remained. The masthead remained the same. Placements of cover features stayed the same along with the call outs of the issues. It is one of the few publications with page numbers on the cover. I realize national geographic is very different from other magazines. It is not the normal pick up at a news stand. It is sold but not at checkouts. It is intended to be subscribed to. The covers kept the serif font but changed which sans they used. Both have lines dividing topics. Also it has a hard spine. The spines remained similar with the mast head at top. There were changes to font size though. The old spine had 1 size for its text and the current had smaller size for the non mast head and let it stand out more. The modern cover also had a larger mast head and was not afraid to have the image overlap it. The new had better use of scale change of mast head then feature article then call outs then other lesser things. The old had medium-big, medium and small. New had large, medium, and small. The newer was also cleaner and less cluttered allowing for more hierarchy. The old had much more competing things for hierarchy such as the old top view logo of their globe and frills. I understand the serif masthead. Being subscribed they dont have to worry as much about being a super fast read with some sans. It is more about refined and shape as nature.
There symbol used was and I remember from a child a yellow out line frame now it is a filled in a box. They kept the shape and purpose but its not a frame any more. This issue uses it in key places to signify all sections besides features since they have custom made pages but it works well for the repeating things issue to issue. It helps unify and let you know where things start. This issue reserves the serifs for features since they are text heavy. The old used serif for all text inside. The base size of magazine stayed the same but the grid changed. This issue has much more white space built in. The top line where images and text start besides full bleeds is much larger for much valued white space. The old feels much more like they were trying to cram as much text in as possible. Where myself and others love national geographic for the graphics not the stories.
This is one thing they do is often have editor statements but not always. It is interesting look into the view of the designers.
I expected to have only 1 content page but it had 2. One is features and second is departments. On two pages but not on the same spread. it helps break things up and not get overwhelmed by so much content. They do use the red text but only a very few times. The featured a feature but not the main one.
A thumbnail of some of this issues departments. I like the simplicity of the page and being centered since it is such little content helps it fill the page without it being really end heavy and it allows the images to be more dynamically placed.
The feature are very short and just give a little though but focus on image. Most of very large images but not all.
Chose this for having more text and several graphics. The bottom right side text does not bother me since it has some room to breath and is boxed in but by round images.
Chose this for putting in a pull quote. Almost every page has clear easy to find page numbers but not on full bleeds. They chose for the quote to make it evenly spaced from top to bottom instead of putting as many words as possible on each line to make it feel more structured. They do use colors of parts in features but the color is not distracting.
Use of image and tag line. The space between around the tag line is fitting to make it feel separated from the body but not need to be super exaggerated.
They broke the collums grid but it makes it more interesting.
Use of image and text on the same page can be hard but they do it well. Without alienating ether element.
One thing better about this issue is the red accent color of text. It is only on the cover but at least a few spots. The new one only has 1 spot of it in the whole issue and on cover. I like the image layouts much better in this one but dont like the grid as much if that makes sense. They changed from the sans on this to a more geometric one that just reads better. They only used the sans on the cover. The rest is all serif.
I liked the 3 column letters to editor better. Made fit better and also having ones only 3 lines long makes them feel insignificant. 3 column made them feel bigger but not daunting.
The contents page is just thrown in with the editors statement and makes the page very heavy and discouraging to read. They should have split it onto separate pages. Also with no color it feels dead.
This magazine had a disgusting amount of adds and annoying things before even getting to the content list page. It is 11 before getting to the letters to editor and 17 before the content page! I understand why. They put all their adds at the very front. The new one put the adds all before the feature but spaced by their 1 page departments, letters to editor and content page so it did not hurt as much going through it. Also with all the adds in 1 spot it makes the reader very aware what you are doing and just flip them as fast as possible opposed to having a department on 1 side and add on the other keeping you on the page for more than 2 seconds.
They cut into the body copy in a strange way they cut into it barly and would wish it would line up with other column of go in more not just this is the biggest the image would get so we did it this way. Feels poorly resolved as that part.
This is what I ment. The text description and image dont align with the body but it feels more deliberate.
They split the page 2/3, 1/3 with image. Gives enough space for the text and a second small image.
Dont like the orphen and then only 1 line before next section. Liked elen lupten and others though dend sentences on page or end sections on pages. Over all the publication became much better through the years. They game the images more relestate and cut down on text at every turn. Funny how things can change so much but still stay the same. Both still say same brand but just the modern does it better. Not sure if the old issue I showed was a special issue with not departments or if that was not created yet or what but it basically only had features and if you didnt care about those few features why pick it up. The new at least has more features and departments to appeal to more people.