The Atlantic – Field Notes: Furniture

The Atlantic takes advantage of using a few different pieces of furniture throughout the publication aid readers with organization and knowing where they are within the issue. Throughout the entire publication – including the front of book, well, and back of book – the bottom of the page has a set format that includes the page number, the folio, and title of the magazine (see the example on the right). It’s in small, sans-serif typeface, and since it appears on almost all pages (though its missing in parts of the well depending on the feature’s design). It adds consistency by matching the standard display typeface and maintains the clean feel of The Atlantic.

The next main type of furniture used is employed throughout the front of book and back of book solely. At the top of the page, it tells the reader which department, sometimes sub-department, the reader is in. In the example to the left, the reader can see on the top right in black that they are in the “Dispatches” section, while being in the subsection of “Business.” Not all departments have a subsection, so sometimes only the main department is listed, but like the first example of furniture, this example is in The Atlantic‘s standard display typeface. It successfully performs its role of letting the reader quickly know where they are within the issue.

The last main type of furniture used it throughout only “The Culture File” department. Instead of the second example of furniture to let the reader know where they are within the publication, a red, center-aligned tab is used along with an icon to let the reader know that they are within the “The Culture File” department and also to let them know which subsection they are in – Omnivore, Books, Film, etc. The example on the right shows what the tap looks like. Since it is “The Culture File” and covers topics that are more in the culture and entertainment realm, I think that the burst of color and icon help set it apart and give it more energy and zest from the other sections. This is consistent throughout the entire department and still maintains the educated, clean look of The Atlantic, but adds to this particular department.