Meet A/J, the New-Look Alternatives Journal

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Canada’s premiere source for environmental journalism introduces a bold new design and editorial focus

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As Canada’s oldest and most-respected environmental publication, Alternatives Journal has held the responsibility of being a beacon of environmental story-telling for more than 40 years. But with a changing publishing landscape and environmental issues hitting the mainstream, Alternatives Journal has evolved. This fall Alternatives Journal became A/J, a slick, reader-friendly consumer publication for all Canadians.

“We undertook this redesign project for both strategic and tactical reasons,” says publisher and creative director Marcia Ruby. “Tactically, we wanted to make a bigger impact on the newsstand, a key battleground for growing both revenues and brand awareness. It is still too early to fully comment on the success of this goal, but due in no small part to our new redesign, we have secured a broader distribution arrangement that will see more copies of A/J on more newsstands across Canada. So we consider that a good first victory."

Despite the change, there is something A/J shares with its predecessor – a commitment to tackling some of the most important environmental challenges facing not just Canada, but the world.

"Canadians from coast-to-coast are facing challenging questions and changing climate realities. They seek clarity and perspective in an easy-to-access format, supported by a strong scientific and research background,” says Ruby. “It was with this sense of urgency and with this heightened need in mind that we began this redesign project, and based upon initial feedback, A\J is now well-positioned to serve the needs of concerned Canadians and the broader environmental community.”

New and loyal readers will find the print magazine, "bigger, better, and bolder," according to Laura McDonald, A/J’s Associate Manager of Publicity and Special Projects. “In addition to a new logo and fonts, and an overall new look and feel, we've added 16 pages and significantly upped the graphic content. We're also adding more brief content, such as a Q&A with an innovative researcher each issue and a regular map feature.”

After a soft launch in late October, the new and improved A/J website is now live online as well. Updated content includes a community section where experts and lay-people alike can discuss pressing issues, a job board, reviews and blogs. “The blogs in particular, will enable us to keep the website content changing frequently - and to respond quickly to environmental issues as they arise,” says McDonald.

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