With this issue (Volume 30, No. 1), Free Inquiry unveils a new design as the Council for Secular Humanism enters into its thirtieth anniversary year. Each issue in this volume will include one or two small features celebrating the anniversary, the observance of which will culminate in the thirtieth anniversary conference, “Setting the Agenda: Secular Humanism’s Next 30 Years,” that will be held at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles October 7–10, 2010.
This issue introduces the second comprehensive redesign Free Inquiry has undergone during its publishing history. The first took place in 1997. Under then-editor Lewis Vaughn, we moved to slightly shorter articles and a more graphics-heavy format in order to make the magazine more competitive on newsstands. Given current trends in publishing and magazine retailing, newsstand circulation (while still welcome) is less central to our future plans. With this redesign, we’ve seized an opportunity to move closer to Free Inquiry’s roots and to what we think the publication does best. The new look is cleaner, less dependent on graphics and illustrations, and unafraid of the occasional longer article. It is designed to focus attention on the words and the often-challenging ideas they embody. (Because the new design uses space more efficiently, we will deliver 10 to 15 percent more content in each issue). Above all, Free Inquiry is a venue for challenging ideas, responsible criticism, and stimulating controversy. We think the new design helps us look more the part as we begin our thirtieth year.
The new design was created by Secret Valley Media Labs of Hamburg, New York, with extensive input from the staff, including especially Art Director Christopher Fix and Production Typesetter Paul Loynes, Managing Editor Andrea Szalanski, and Assistant Editors Donna Danford and Julia Lavarnway. The magazine’s new logotype was created by Christopher Fix.
Other significant changes will mark the Council’s thirtieth anniversary year. In a few months we’ll launch a complete redesign of the Council’s Web site at secularhumanism.org. The new design will support numerous interactive Web 2.0 features and make more Free Inquiry content available to subscribers in electronic form. The Council is also rekindling its distinctive local groups program; look for a new, user-friendly “find a group near you” feature when the redesigned Website “goes live.”