Did you hear?... Backpacker changes its look

Backpacker hasn't changed its look (other than a few tweaks and twitches here and there) for more than 13 years now.
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Backpacker hasn't changed its look (other than a few tweaks and twitches here and there) for more than 13 years now. All that changes with the September issue, of which SNEWS® was just given a sneak peek. The cover jumps out at you now from the newsstand, with a brand new logo in a more modern type-face that is 30 percent bigger than the previous one we all know. Inside changes too, with the driving force, executive editor Jon Dorn told us, being a desire to make the magazine easier to navigate and more visually appealing. A number of the departments now open with two-page color spreads that are intended to be eye-catching and serve as an anchor to help readers find where a section begins and ends. Dorn also told us that instead of scattering related information throughout the magazine, Backpacker will group like with like. "We put all the service information together, all the news together, all the destinations together, all the gear together," says Dorn. "Our reader surveys also told us that we need to provide more destination information, so we are with everything from week-long trips to expeditions to day hikes -- a much broader gamut of trips." Recognizing the growing market need as well, Backpacker will be adding a fitness department each issue. And, while they're doing a back-of-the-magazine photo like every other magazine in the space, Dorn believes Backpacker is taking a dramatically new approach and, at first glance, SNEWS® doesn't disagree. Under a scenic photo, Backpacker is placing about 250 words of text written by a very skilled journalist who used to write for Yankee that describes the moment in the photo as it relates to the senses. It's literary to be sure … perhaps some of the hardest writing possible and, if done well, as it has been in the first issue, enjoyable reading. Certainly it's not lost on Backpacker that these types of pages will translate nicely into posters and, gift books.

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