If we’re doing our job well, magazine editors spend the better part of most days thinking about our readers—what stories will interest them, what will surprise them, what photos will captivate them, what headlines will draw them in. But no matter how much thought and effort go into a magazine’s content, everything rides on the back of good design. For the past year we’ve been thinking a lot about the design of Garden & Gun, and we decided that as we came to the close of our tenth-anniversary year and looked ahead to 2018 and beyond, the time was right for a true refresh.
Award-winning design director and Memphis native Marshall McKinney led the charge. As a nine-year veteran of G&G, he was tasked with giving the pages a more modern feel while retaining the clean, crisp, and elegant look the magazine is known for. Working alongside McKinney were design consultant Tom Brown of TBA+D, photography director Maggie Brett Kennedy, art director Julia Knetzer, and associate photo editor Margaret Houston. You’ll notice we updated fonts, eliminated some visual clutter, and refined the overall reading experience. We even added a section, Jubilee, to serve as the new home for our food and drink coverage. A celebration of the Southern table, it contains some of your favorite regular columns, including Kim Severson’s Anatomy of a Classic and John T. Edge’s Fork in the Road, plus a few surprises.
If we’ve accomplished our goal, the new look should feel effortless. What hasn’t changed is our commitment to an eclectic mix of great stories and stunning photography, and of course our love of a good dog. The cover of this year’s sporting issue is graced by a twelve-week-old springer spaniel puppy named Cragtopp Crawford of Tibea—or Rodney, for short. Rodney belongs to trainer Robin Watson of Tibea Gundogs in Lancaster, South Carolina. The pup arrived in the States from England just a few weeks before our cover shoot. For now, there’s not much training for Rodney, just exploratory walks and the occasional quick game of fetch. “We let them have their childhood before going to school,” Watson says. But soon they’ll begin work on basic obedience before moving on to flushing and retrieving, and before long he’ll be ready for the field.
A good gundog is always evolving, much like a magazine. Speaking of which, we hope you like the changes we’ve made to G&G. Don’t hesitate to let us know your thoughts.