Last year, deputy editor Stacey Gibson and I began asking how we would reimagine U of T Magazine. It seemed like a pertinent question: the last time the magazine got a makeover was a decade ago – before the spectacular rise of social media and before news was delivered to people minute by minute on their phones.
What did our readers want from a magazine in 2018? Did they still want a hard copy? (A large majority told us they do.) And what should it say?
We thought a lot about this last question, and, as you can see, much about University of Toronto Magazine has changed. The stories draw inspiration from current headlines, but we’ve dispensed with any attempt to report the latest university news or events, which are updated daily at the U of T website. Each issue will centre on a theme, explored from many angles, and on ideas from our faculty, students and alumni that delve into the messy, complicated questions of the day.
To help us re-envision the magazine, we turned to Studio Wyse, a hot shop in the graphic design world that created the playful look of The Grid (a former Toronto newsweekly) and, more recently, refreshed Chatelaine. The Wyse team drew on field guides and journals for inspiration, but applied a dynamic, contemporary lens. We talked about the magazine as offering a kind of backstage pass to the university’s brightest minds. With everything else speeding up, we liked the concept of giving readers something to savour. Visually, says lead designer Vanessa Wyse, the result is “sophisticated in its restraint but grand in its execution” – with sprawling feature stories, large photographs, supporting infographics and generous amounts of white space.
To bring greater attention to each issue’s theme, we’ve flipped the magazine’s structure on its head. Apart from a few bits and pieces, most of the shorter articles have moved to the back. An expanded feature section appears close to the front, so you get to the meatier stuff faster.
We heard from readers that the magazine devotes a lot of space to science and technology and could do a better job of covering the entire university. As a result, expect to see more stories in this issue – and upcoming ones – that explore topics from a cultural and social perspective as well.
The magazine publishes twice a year, but we’ll be posting additional articles here, at our website, which has been completely revamped and modernized. The site’s new design makes it easy to browse topics you’re interested in, from arts and politics to U of T’s rich history. Why not sign up for our email newsletter while you’re here?
You have many reasons to be excited about, and proud of, your connection to the University of Toronto. We hope the new University of Toronto Magazine gives you one more. We’d love to hear what you think of it.