Editor's Letter: July 2007

By James Burnett | Boston Magazine |

You might notice something different about this issue—two things, actually, both subtle, though important enough to bear explanation. For starters, with an eye to streamlining our design, we’ve retired a headline font we’ve been using for the past year in favor of another, crisper set of typefaces already in our toolkit. (Font geeks—it’s okay, you’re among friends—and buy-local activists will note that our text is still set in Miller, a classic by Cambridge-based font-making titan Matthew Carter.) More significantly, the magazine itself has taken on a new fighting trim: We’ve shaved 3⁄8 inch from the bottom of each page and bumped up the weight and quality of our paper stock. Like I said: These are pretty subtle moves. But they make for an even richer reading experience.

It may seem hopelessly retro, going to such lengths for the printed word in this era of YouTube and iPhones. And in fact we’re hardly Luddites here, having spent the past several months souping up the back end, as the IT people call it, of bostonmagazine.com, with other, higher-profile enhancements to follow. Still, the innovation has yet to come along that can match the feeling provided by the fusty medium you’re holding in your hands. Only in a magazine, and specifically in a city magazine, and even more specifically in this city magazine, will you read a bracingly funny jeremiad against Keith Lockhart’s lowbrow Fourth of July Pops concert, next to a lavishly illustrated scorecard of Boston’s could-be development boom, next to a frank and deftly written look at how an apparently routine tenure decision led to a roiling controversy at MIT, possibly while reclining on an idyllic stretch of oceanfront recommended by our in-depth beach guide. We can bring you this kind of range because (unlike the doozy of a sentence I just typed), as a magazine, we don’t cram. We can follow our curiosity and, in the process, reward yours.

Of course, all this is coming from someone whose relationship with new technology is somewhat fickle. I would love an iPhone just because, you know, they look cool as hell; at the same time, I may be the only American under 35 who doesn’t know how to send a text message. E-mail, though, I’ve more or less got the hang of. So let me know how we’re doing by sending your thoughts to editor@bostonmagazine.com.