NEJM's New Look

Nov 01, 2002

The year 2003 will bring more than glad tidings for the New England Journal of Medicine. Jeffrey M. Drazen, MD, editor-in-chief, unveiled the peer-reviewed journal's new design at a recent luncheon hosted for pharma executives, media planners, and agency representatives.

The changes incorporate information gleaned from conversations with physicians during the last two years, supplemented by design-specific market research among subscribers and nonsubscribers. The overall goal of the new look is to make the book easier to read.

The redesign debuts in the January 2, 2003 issue. But, NEJM is taking steps beforehand to alert readers and advertisers to the change. The organization is running a campaign drawing attention to the new look in the journal, in physician and trade publications, in convention and medical meeting promotions, and in the table of contents e-mailed to physicians each week. Drazen also plans to send letters to subscribers and run an editorial in that issue.

Encapsulating research in abstracts and placing similar articles in the same place on the cover's table of contents and in the book from week to week will allow doctors to flip to relevant information quickly. Other changes include more readable tables and graphs, better delineated sections, more legible fonts, and a greater emphasis on medical illustrations.

NEJM executives collaborated with Helfand/Drentlel and Pentagram Design to develop the new look. Drazen likens the journal's redesign to his wife's cutting her hair short after 20 years. After the initial shock, he finds it very becoming.

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