We recently launched a striking new design for Finance & Development, the flagship quarterly magazine of the International Monetary Fund.
The magazine publishes cutting-edge economic analysis by prominent international experts, but didn’t have an aesthetic that matched the professionalism of its contents. We set about creating a new design that would give the editorial more room to breathe and a more confident voice.
What the magazine needed most was a clearly defined structure. In collaboration with the editors, we developed new content types and named new departments, such as Kaleidoscope, a front-of-book snapshot of global economics through the IMF’s point of view. Many voices contribute to each issue of F&D—some scholars, some policymakers, some IMF staff, among others—and we used design and art to delineate and clarify these perspectives. For example, we introduced a “Point of View” section, and developed portrait styles that appear on various kinds of articles.
We brought in visual consistency through rules and templated layouts so content is more findable, which is important for readers using the magazine as a reference material. We also developed a signature style for charts and graphs—always a great design challenge, and crucial for an institution that produces high-quality, data-based research and analysis.
The structured, expert feeling of the new magazine is supported by typeface selections that exude confidence. The masthead (GT Flexa) is unapologetically bold and the body text (Lyon) is modern and sharp; to bring in more personality, we drew from the wide variety within the Caslon Doric family for display copy. We focused on creating a clear hierarchy within the typography to produce a cleaner delivery of information that can be digested without effort. The distinctions are also supported by the magazine’s refined and purposefully limited color palette.
Another key part of the redesign’s success was our art strategy. We established consistency by commissioning standing art for recurring departments, and used bold illustrations to highlight the thematic package that anchors the issue. We also established a style for photography used throughout the magazine, bringing in reportage-style professional photographs that tell a global story and make the issue’s contents feel more immediate to readers.
Creative Director: Alissa Levin
Design Director: Nathan Eames
Producer and Art Director: Lou Thorne
About F&D Quarterly
Finance & Development is the flagship magazine of the International Monetary Fund. F&D publishes cutting-edge analysis and insight on the latest trends and research in international finance, economics, and development. It is written by both IMF staff and prominent international experts, and is read by leading policymakers, academics, economic practitioners, and other decision-makers around the world.