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Anatomy of a Magazine Redesign. (Editorial).

"Reach for the moon; even if you miss, you will land among the stars."

This was our motto in January when we started the process of redesigning the look and editorial content for MODERN CASTING. We were shooting for the moon.

You see, 125 issues have passed since our last redesign, and the faces of both the metalcasting industry and our readership have changed. Today, time is short and everyone is always on the move. To make sure we keep pace with the needs of our readership, we set out on this redesign journey.

The first step was to poll our readers via focus groups and mailed surveys to determine their likes and dislikes about the magazine. Although we learned we were doing a lot of things right, we also learned maybe we were doing a few things "not so right."

The most important thing we learned was when today's foundrymen open up MODERN CASTING, they look for as much information as possible as quickly as possible. With this statement, we knew the redesigned MODERN CASTING has to provide you with the "biggest bang" for every moment you spend reading it.

The next step in the redesign process was to benchmark ourselves with successful magazines, including Business Week, Time, Purchasing, ESPN, Men Health, Cosmopolitan and Golf to see if we could pick up a few design and editorial tips from the "experts." Can you approach articles about the stock market, professional football, dieting and fashion in the same way? Surprisingly, the answer is yes.

We then hired a design agency to deliver a fresh perspective and assist in the redesign process. At this point, our countless hours of arguing (almost coming to blows on several occasions) about drop caps, pull quotes, margins, fonts, keylines, decks and every other trivial journalistic style point in existence began. It is amazing how passionate people can be about punctuation.

The result? You are holding it in your hands right now. Hopefully, it feels like the moon (or at least the stars?). We sure think so.

While looking through this first redesigned issue of MODERN CASTING, the most apparent changes to you may be the new look. From the MODERN CASTING logo on

the cover to Shakeout on p. 76, we have attempted to deliver a magazine worthy of calling itself "The Technology and Business Magazine for the Metalcasting Industry."

I'd like to take you through some of the changes.

Cover--The biggest change is that we have a new logo.

Hotline--To better reflect its name, Hotline now only includes the "hottest" items in the issue. Expect to see a recap of the hottest industry news and product innovations each month as well as the "hottest" additions to our website,, including the new "Question of the Month."

Contents--Our Contents page is now packed with information about the feature articles, including brief descriptions to complement the headlines as well pictures in some cases.

Industry News--Although Industry News also has a new look, the biggest advance in this section is at with the, daily-updated late-breaking news.

Features--The two biggest design innovations for features are the "Inside This Story" section and the "For More Information" box. Used on select features, "Inside This Story" will provide you with a brief synopsis of the article's key points. The "For More Information" box will list books, papers, websites, etc., to aid you in finding further information on an article's main focus.

Shakeout--When we developed the new content and look for this page, we referred to it as the "Foundry Fun" page. Everyone needs a little break from the daily grind, and Shakeout is now designed to provide it with littleknown facts about the foundry industry and thought-provoking photos from the past and present.

There you have it--our redesign in a nutshell. I hope you enjoy the new look and editorial content.

Thanks for more than 63 years of loyal readership. Have a safe and happy holiday season.

We want to know what our readers think of the redesigned MODERN CASTING. Please drop us an email with your thoughts at

Alfred T. Spada, Executive Editor
COPYRIGHT 2001 American Foundry Society, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Modern Casting
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Dec 1, 2001
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