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Don’t reinvent the wheel

Progressive Dairyman Editor and Chief Walt Cooley Published on 12 September 2016

More than a year ago, we began preparing for a redesign of our magazine. I would liken the process to the planning that might go into a parlor renovation or a calf barn update. There were many opinions about how it should be done and what was best.

At the end of each meeting discussing the matter, I often wondered if we needed to do it at all. After all, things seemed to be working OK, so why would we change? Our founder, Leon Leavitt, summarized the endeavor best. He said: “The wheel isn’t broken. You don’t need to reinvent it. Why not just make it roll smoother and more efficiently?”

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This issue features the first look at the results of a year’s worth of work. Please know that each of the changes you see in this issue are deliberate. We believe they will improve your experience with the magazine.

To make the magazine better and more efficient, we consulted with readers prior to embarking on any changes. Most of those that made the cut are user-inspired. Here’s a bit of explanation about the most obvious changes you’ll see as you begin turning this issue’s pages.

The font and text size of the articles

When we began looking at a redesign for our magazine, the most-often-heard comment about how the magazine was presented related to the size of the words on the page. Readers gave us an ultimatum: “Don’t make the words any smaller.” We heard you loud and clear. The font used in articles has changed from a blocky newspaper font, Warnock Pro, to a personable font, Caslon.

We made sure the text size of the new font was similar to what you are used to seeing. In fact, it may actually appear to be slightly bigger. We hope the size change aids in reading with tired, and in some cases, aging eyes.

At-a-glance summaries

Beginning with this issue and increasing in frequency with issues to come, you will notice a short summary at the start of the article. (At A Glance) Many of you whom we surveyed expressed regret that you might not have time to read every word of every article.

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Editors will now write these summaries to eliminate that potential guilt. In one sentence, this box will recap the main point of the article. We hope you use these boxes as a guide when choosing what to read completely or what to just read in summary. We hope it will give you more time to read an extra article or two in full that you might have otherwise paged over.

Techie and progressive headlines

Our headline font has also changed. We’re now using a sleek, tech-inspired font, Antartida. We believe this headline more appropriately represents the forward-thinking information presented in every issue.

Section headers

The beginning of each section of the magazine will now be indicated with a colored tab on the top corner of the page. In each issue, we typically present content on three to four different dairy topics.

You’ll be able to quickly identify what those topics are when you get your copy of the magazine, even before turning to the table of contents. Maybe you’re interested in new technology more than forages. Now you will know when you’re leaving one topic in the magazine and moving to another.

Finally, there were a few other ideas generated from our reader surveys that are still in development. You shouldn’t expect anything less from a publication with the name “progressive” in its title, right? We appreciate those who provided feedback, and we welcome your comments at any time.  end mark

Walt Cooley
  • Walt Cooley

  • Editor-in-chief
  • Progressive Dairyman
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