Nature Magazine is the world’s preeminent science magazine. It was in its pages that the discovery of the neutron was first announced. And, in 1998, the magazine published the human genome. It weekly changes our understanding of our world.
On a more practical level it is also in the almost unique position (along with Science in the US) of being a hybrid magazine/journal. The front-half of the magazine is hard-hitting, considered, world-class science journalism giving the expert view on science policy and explaining the latest gadgetry. The back-half is basic research at its best. To be published in Nature is to be a famous and successful scientist, that’s all there is to it.
We spent a year working closely with Phil Campbell, Nick Campbell, Tim Appenzeller, Colin Sullivan and many many others restructuring the magazine and, with the help of Tim Ewington (who brought us in on the project) and Zadok Prescott, consumer testing, strategising and rearranging at every step.
What we found is that scientists and Nature readers love information and they love it most when it comes in the form of data visualisation. So the new Nature is full to the brim of information graphics.
We also found out that the previous design was difficult to navigate and hard to read. So we color coded the sections, cleaned up the typography (with some help from Dino in Portugal) and made the contents page sing.
The news features, the longest pieces in the magazine are now design leaders. These 3 or 4 page stories are clean, airy and so easy to read it hurts.
Post-design consumer testing was an overwhelming success. At least two respondents even said THANK YOU! Caps and all.
To be published in Nature is to be a famous and successful scientist