April 29, 1991 12:00 PM

IF SOMETHING LOOKS DIFFERENT ABOUT this issue of PEOPLE, but you can’t put your finger on it—well, you already have. We’ve freshened up our design, but it’s more of a spring-cleaning than a top-to-bottom renovation. “In some respects, it’s almost better if it’s noticed in a quiet way,” says managing editor Landon Y. Jones Jr. The changes afoot work Inward one overall goal: to serve up our distinctive mix of words and pictures in a sharper and more appealing fashion. “The objective is not to gussy up the magazine with a flashy new suit of clothes,” says Jones, “but rather to communicate more clearly the point of our articles from the inside out.”

To that end we have shortened headlines for punch and added some subheads. We’ve framed our black-and-white photos with more-pace and told our printers to make the blacks blacker and the whiles whiter. And such popular departments as Passages and Picks (X Pans now sport graphic icons (drawn by New York City graphic artist Javier Romero) for quick recognition. Typophiles please note our new body type: 11/11 Bodoni Book.

What we hope looks as clear as a windowpane in fact is the product of trial, error, inspiration and perspiration. Graphic consultant Mary K. Baumann, a partner in New York City’s Hopkins/Baumann design studio (husband Will is the Hopkins), created the redesign over the past 11 months with the aid of PEOPLE art director John Shecut, picture editor M.C. Marden and plenty of solicited and unsolicited kibitzing from our whole staff.

When it came to the execution, she relied on the dauntless (and sometimes sleep-defying) skills of our copy processing and edit production staffs headed by Alan Anuskiewicz and Karen J. Waller, who in effect had to learn a brand-new visual language. (Computer graphic consultant Jerome Sarnat had the challenge of making two incompatible computer systems communicate with each other.) “I’ve never before experienced anything where you have to fuse so many different elements,” says Baumann.

A native of St. Paul, Baumann got her first taste of art direction at the University of Minnesota and was hooked. She worked as an associate art director at LIFE magazine from 1978 to 1980. Then, after a three-year stint as the art director of Geo, a travel/environmental magazine, she returned to Time Inc., first as art director of the company’s Magazine Development division, then in a variety of consulting positions. Her aim in redesigning PEOPLE perfectly matches the magazine’s working definition. Says Baumann: “I’ve tried to create a clear, comfortable environment for readers to meet people.”

Few publishing awards are more treasured than those bestowed by the American Society of Magazine Editors. This year PEOPLE is proud to be included among the magazines nominated for a National Magazine Award in the category of general excellence, circulation above 1 million. We received this award once before—in 1987—and are delighted that our peers have cited our staff again for its excellence.

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