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Editor’s Column

A magazine can only be considered successful if it provides value to its readers. Unlike the Web, where feed­back is almost instantaneous, magazines conduct surveys to learn more about the interests and activities of their readers.

In January 2007, we commissioned Harvey Research, Inc. to conduct a subscriber study. When asked what they read in the magazine, we were pleased to see that respondents continue to find our feature articles beneficial; many, however, saw room for improvement in the content and frequency of our columns. So with this issue I’m pleased to announce the launch of Design Trends, a brief, quarterly overview of creative trends that affect the visual communications industry. Our inaugural column focuses on color, including Pantone’s 2008 Spring forecast and comments by creatives on color issues.

Another quarterly column, Emerging Media (which actually began last fall) will look at the creative possibilities of new communication media and discuss technological developments that affect our field.

Other changes include increasing the frequency of our Creativity and Typography columns to six times a year and merging the Business, Legal Affairs and Freelance columns under the Business heading, which will run in all eight issues.

Bigger changes are happening online. The last major update to our site was in 2001—ancient history on the Web. With a redesign long overdue, we conducted another survey of our online audi-ence, which has about a 50% overlap with our paid readership. Confirming what we could see from our online statistics, 92.9% of respondents indicated that creative inspiration is what they look for on industry-related Web sites. That one statistic became our mantra as we evaluated content and structure possibilities for a new and improved Web presence.

After almost a year of incubation, I’m pleased to announce the relaunch of www.commarts.com with more focus on image-based content and a renewed goal of providing daily doses of inspiration.

Essentially, we’ve taken the most-read features from commarts.com and designinteract.com, merged them into a single site, increased their frequency and added Fresh—a well-liked feature from the magazine.

Webpicks (formerly Site of the Week) features examples of Web design that combine superior aesthetics, technical expertise and notable usability. Four times a week we’ll highlight daily picks and once a week we’ll post our choice for Pick of the Week.

Exhibit Online, which features new and innovative projects in graphic design and advertising from around the world, will be updated every business day and will include video (TV commercials and motion graphics) in its coverage.

Insights, originally limited to interactive media professionals, will be updated weekly and include comments from creatives across all disciplines of visual communications. Also weekly, we’ll publish a new Fresh profile featuring work by people, firms and agencies that have been working professionally or changed careers or styles within the last five years. Our News section, featuring industry news, insights, events and creative inspiration, has been reformatted but will continue to be updated every business day.

Creative Hotlist (www.creativehotlist.com), our career site, continues to be an important resource and we’ll be adding new features and content to it later this year. Design Interact will cease to function as a standalone site, but we’re holding onto the URL for possible future development.

If you have a project you think we should see, we invite you to submit it for possible inclusion. For complete details, visit www.commarts.com/submissions.

Undertaking this ambitious plan has required us to realign our staff and the methodology of our editorial, production and online departments in order to produce content more frequently. With the help of an expanded programming staff, we’ve got the content management tools necessary to signifi-cantly increase our efficiency.

We hope you like the changes and encourage you to drop us a note at editorial@commarts.com to let us know what we’re doing right and what needs improvement. Your feedback is important to us. We want to continue to be an essential creative resource in your professional career. —Patrick Coyne ca


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