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What's old is new again for the AJ print edition

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A bigger AJ print edition is just one of the many traditions we’ve brought back to the AJ, writes Christine Murray

One thing I like about the current AJ editorial team is that we share with our readership a particular nostalgia for back issues of this magazine, and distaste for unnecessary changes to the AJ’s design and content.

Art editor Brad Yendle is not an architect, but is known for buying up old copies of the AJ on eBay, including the edition published on the day he was born – which inspired the cover of our 6 houses by 6 practices issue, AJ 14.04.11.

For the past two years, Brad has played caretaker to the AJ’s graphic identity, evolving the design in keeping with the tradition of this title.

This week, we introduce a few more subtle interventions. Most notably, after more than 30 years, we’ve restored this column to its home at the front of the magazine. The spring clean is in response to the pages we’ve added into the magazine this year – a bigger AJ is another tradition we’re bringing back.

As for our typeface, Brad has preserved the use of Caslon, the historic English serif font dated to 1722, designed by gunsmith and typeface craftsman William Caslon (1692-1766).

In the news section, we have augmented the use of Akzidenz-Grotesk, a typeface released within a year of the establishment of the AJ in 1895. This German font was the first sans-serif typeface to be widely used, and is the precursor to the modern-day Helvetica – the architect’s favourite.

We’ve also rationalised the page structure, using a four-column grid for news, as well as for comment pieces such as Paul Finch’s Letter from London, and Rory Olcayto’s new column Black box, on architectural design culture. Last year we introduced a seven-column page layout for the features section, which includes a half-width column for annotations.

The test of a good design is whether it interferes with your enjoyment of the magazine. Brad would welcome your feedback on the design of the print edition of the AJ – please send comments or questions to brad.yendle@emap.com

See this week’s issue here

Top tips for MIPIM

It’s that time of year again: next week, the AJ is off to MIPIM, the international property fair in Cannes where cities, investors, developers and architects network the old-fashioned way, holding up the bars on the various city stands.

For those of you about to embark on your first MIPIM, here are some top tips. Firstly, set up meetings with key clients – at least one a day. If you can’t get any meetings, attend the right breakfast, lunch and speaking events based on the people you want to meet – it is easy to approach them on their descent from the podium. Evening drinks on the London stand is a great networking opportunity, as most people congregate there in the late afternoon.

Practice selling your business in 20 seconds, so that you know exactly what to say when you find yourself standing next to a potential client. Don’t trap anyone in a long conversation: impress them quickly with a single scheme on your iPad, then hand them a business card, all the better if it includes a project image. If they indicate they’d be willing to meet with you back in the UK, follow up a week later. Hopefully, you’ll leave MIPIM with a few meetings in the diary, a revitalised contacts book and invaluable market knowledge.

I’ll see you there.

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