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Editorial


Classic, clean, and easier to read: a few words about our fresh new face

August 2002 · Vol. 14, No. 8

“Our life is frittered away by detail,” Henry David Thoreau observed nearly 150 years ago, and his words still resonate today. His solution? “Simplify, simplify.”

In this instance, though, Thoreau got it only half right. Unnecessary details do obfuscate. But attention to the proper particulars can enhance communication and save time—rather than squander it.

A few examples: The physician focuses on the fine points of a case to solve a diagnostic dilemma. The epidemiologist analyzes statistics and other minutiae. And the hospital staff zeroes in on the specific formulation and dosage requested when administering a drug. All details. All important.

As you explore this issue, you’ll discover a streamlined design that has been developed with you—the busy clinician—in mind.

Nevertheless, Thoreau’s advice to “simplify” is potent. The truth is, it is possible to simplify without forsaking the details. Which brings me to the subject at hand: the redesign of OBG Management.

When the first issue of this journal was published 13 years ago, its design was “cutting-edge” and appealing, plus it enabled the reader to find the articles of greatest interest to him or her.

Over the last decade or so, our eyes—bombarded by more and more stimuli—have learned to “see” differently. Thanks to the Internet and innovations in other media, we scan a page faster, taking in more information than ever before. Our glance gravitates naturally to the more vibrant palette, provided it seems to offer a good amount of substance. And because we are pressed for time, we decide in a flash whether a piece of information is relevant to us—or we ignore it altogether and move on.

As you explore this issue, you’ll discover a streamlined design that is striking without calling unnecessary attention to itself. Extraneous flourishes have been eliminated so that color and other accents can highlight what is most important. Every aspect of the redesign has been developed with you—the busy clinician—in mind. For example, the columns have been reconfigured so that they are farther away from the “gutter,” or inside margin, so that you don’t have to flatten the journal to read to the end of each line. There is a “drop cap,” or large initial capital letter at the beginning of each sentence under the subheads, making it easier to spot each new section, while giving the eye a rest. Each feature contains added white space to differentiate it from departments and ads, and author names have been moved to the top of the article so that readers can see quickly who has penned each feature. We also have refined our logo, using a bold but classically simple style that exemplifies our willingness to explore new frontiers as well as our faithfulness to design elements that remain tried and true.

Here’s a rundown of other changes:

Our cover. It’s not that different from the “old” cover, yet it grabs attention. The new logo is larger, with a more modern typeface in a simple red hue that is repeated elsewhere in the journal, yet the same dramatic graphics grace the center and lower portions of the cover, making it easy to absorb everything in one sweeping glance.

The masthead. We’ve always been dedicated to our mission. Now we proclaim it atop our masthead, which also features the names of our contributing editors; editorial, art and production, and publishing staffs; and our esteemed board of editors.

Table of contents. The eye now jumps instantly to information about our cover article, while all the other features and departments remain easily discernable. As in the overall journal design, the dominant colors are red and black, making it possible for the reader to immediately determine which elements are most important—such as headlines or page numbers—and then return for a closer look.

Features. As before, the cover art is repeated in the interior of the journal to illustrate the main feature. But now the pages are cleaner, easier to read. On all features, our “Key Points” box moves to the front of the article. And our Surgical Techniques articles highlight the same distinctive illustrations in an open, instructive presentation.

Departments. We have the same popular departments, including Medical Verdicts (formerly “Malpractice Casebook”), Examining the Evidence, Reimbursement Adviser, Medicolegal Consult, and Product Update. But now moving from main point to main point is effortless, thanks to the new use of color.

So those are the “details.” They were selected painstakingly, with your best interests in mind. At first glance, they may seem minor, but we think these changes will make reading OBG Management an even more pleasant, informative experience than before.

We’re excited with OBG’s new look and hope you are too. As always, we welcome your feedback.

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