|Oregon State Bar Bulletin FEBRUARY/MARCH 2007|
By Paul Nickell
Perhaps by now you have noticed that what you are holding is not the familiar Bulletin you have come to know and recognize. The new look and feel introduced here — the product of months of thinking and hours of planning by the staff and volunteers involved in the Bulletin’s production — represents a brave leap into modernity and contemporary design for this bar journal.
Why change the Bulletin? The answers are myriad, but one stands out.
Since its conversion to the magazine format nearly 30 years ago, the Bulletin’s appearance has changed very little (only two designs, in fact). At the time of the last redesign, in 1991, I wrote that the new look being introduced should "take us into the next century." The formal (some would say staid) design employed since then has accomplished and now perhaps outlived that purpose. Indeed, in a day and age when publications seemingly change their style with every turn of the season, our pages were beginning to show some wear and tear. What seemed formal and dignified 16 years ago now appeared to be dated, gray, dull even, no longer in style.
Surveys tell us that Bulletin readers care more about the content of the magazine than its looks, so the redesign team approached this remodeling project with a light touch. Yes, there are new typefaces and new graphics, beginning with the cover and continuing throughout the magazine. We are making more use of color (which our advertisers pay for). And more "open," or advertisement-free, pages can be found in the main feature section. It is our hope that these and other enhancements will result in a contemporary publication that OSB members are proud to claim as their own. Credit goes to the ever-capable Jeanne Galick, a Portland graphic designer, who produced the initial design concept. Sunny Chao of the OSB’s design team has artfully implemented Jeanne’s vision and with this issue takes on the monthly task of designing and producing the pages in your hands.
As for the content, the shifts are more subtle. Except for "Briefs" (which is being retooled to be more engaging), all of the regular Bulletin columns and departments remain — only their arrangement is different. As in most publications of our time, the main features are now to be found in the middle of the magazine. The articles are flanked by the regular practice-oriented columns ahead of them, and the rotating departments and OSB- related columns behind. Astute readers will notice that news of OSB CLE seminars has been moved to the bar news section (rechristened as "Bar Notes"), among other small changes. "The Legal Writer," our new column on writing and grammar, takes its permanent home toward the front half of the magazine. Responding to requests from readers, we’ve added a column on technology. Massachusetts lawyer and Internet denizen Bob Ambrogi is the author of "Legal Online," a monthly compendium of the best (and sometimes worst) offerings of the Worldwide Web. And plans for a new column on expert advice are afoot as you read this.
No redesign is ever complete on its first try. Over the coming months, no doubt we’ll make some tweaks. We hope to add other new features, try out some new ideas, perhaps experiment with more color. Your feedback and suggestions are welcome and encouraged.
As always, we remain committed to the concerns and goals of our readers, and we aim to be the publication of, for and by Oregon lawyers. That’s something that never goes out of style.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paul Nickell is the editor of the Oregon State Bar Bulletin. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.