Editor’s Note, January 2016: Inside the IM Redesign

The magazine has a fresh look—it’s a new year, and a new us.
When I took this job almost four years ago, an editor here warned me about making any alterations to the magazine too quickly: “Hoosiers don’t like change,” she said. True or not, I could empathize. After all, I once cried when an old wooden pasture fence in my neighborhood was replaced with a shiny white vinyl version because it wasn’t what I was used to. But as you hold the redesigned Indianapolis Monthly in your hands, you can clearly see change is afoot—and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Not only because the design and content have been refreshed, but because the magazine, I believe, now better reflects the city and its people.

IM’s transformation—the new logo, fonts, sections, and pages—are rooted in a series of questions I asked the staff at a retreat in 2013: What should we keep? (The Hoosierist! Gulley! Deborah Paul!) Add? (A history page! Health and beauty coverage! A richer dining section!) Get rid of? (We hardly knew you, Circle of Truth.)

Then I asked two more questions: Which words describe Indy right now? And does IM currently reflect those words? “Emerging,” “striving,” and “optimistic” rose to the top. Yet we realized the magazine didn’t evoke that mood and momentum of Indianapolis as well as it should. Taking that direction (as well as his own keen sense of style) to heart, design director Todd Urban toiled nights and weekends these past two years to bring our vision—and in turn, the city within in our pages—to life.

Serendipitously, this month also happens to contain our ode to the state’s bicentennial, and I couldn’t think of a more appropriate issue with which to debut this redesign. In both the magazine’s new look and this celebration of Indiana, we hoped to honor the past, look to the future, and engage your senses, all in service to our ultimate objective: to connect you to the place you call home.

Amanda Heckert is the editor-in-chief of Indianapolis Monthly.

This article appeared in the January 2016 issue.

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A native of Inman, South Carolina, Amanda Heckert graduated from the Honors College at the University of South Carolina and began her career in journalism as an intern at Atlanta magazine. She then edited Newcomer magazine, a monthly covering Atlanta real estate, entertainment, arts, dining, and education, and helped launch a sister publication, Atlanta School Guide.In 2006, Heckert returned to Atlanta magazine and worked her way up from associate editor covering fashion and lifestyle to senior editor. In that position, she edited and wrote features on topics such as Dasani bottled water and The Real Housewives of Atlanta; contributed to and edited the front-of-book; and edited service and non-service packages, including the September 2011 Hollywood Issue, nominated for a City and Regional Magazine Association Award.Heckert joined Indianapolis Monthly in February 2012 and enjoys getting to know the Circle City with her husband, writer Justin Heckert, and their dog, Cooper.