Even a casual reader of MM+M will notice something a lot different this month, thanks to a stem-to-stern redesign of the magazine and our logo. Yes, the ampersand is gone, replaced with a far more appropriate plus sign, denoting positivity, addition and, well, anything but an ampersand. Type freaks may wax about the beauty of curves and swoops that comprise the ampersand, but I am not among them. Give me a good plus sign, with all the symbolism of a positive ion, any day.
Wait: Redesign a brand and magazine during a pandemic, when the physical collaboration we rely on for such an important task is impossible? That sounds nuts. But what seemed like the most daunting task in all of publishing suddenly didn’t feel like such a big deal once March 2020 hit.
Like everyone else, we adapted. Zoom calls were conducted. Files were shared. Dropbox was overrun. Home printers were overmatched. Input was sought and sometimes listened to. The only real face-to-face part of the whole process came in June in the deserted parking lot of the Pleasantville, New York, train station, chosen for its central location. Final pages of the redesign were laid out on the tailgate of a Jeep Wrangler while a bunch of us stood socially distant, drinking coffee and poking at the new pages. I’m very proud of the results.
The redesign is the product of Works Well With Others, a studio run by David Curcurito, the former creative director of Esquire. “Medical marketing should be a very, very visual function, and we wanted MM+M to be a beautiful environment that could host the very best creative work,” Curcurito says. With the new design he created in tandem with senior art director Sean Ayling, I’d say Curcurito hit the bid.
Of course, redesigns are opportunities not just for a new look, but for new architecture and new ideas. As you flip through the pages, you’ll find the great reporting and writing on the topics that matter to you, but you’ll also find some fresh, new ways to present that information.
The one thing you won’t find: an ampersand. And that’s a plus.