Forty years ago, operating out of a dingy office above a McDonald's on San Francisco's Market Street, a group of writers and editors inspired by Watergate decided to launch the equivalent of a crowd-funded media startup—a spiffy-looking new magazine, devoted to investigative journalism and supported by its readers. From the very first day, Mother Jones has emphasized making in-depth journalism look good, because powerful storytelling shouldn't feel like homework.
In keeping with that spirit, we've decided to celebrate our 40th anniversary with a new design. These days when a magazine overhauls its look, the process normally works something like this: A new editor or creative director walks in, decides whatever came before was crap, hires an outside design firm or three, commissions a custom typeface or maybe 10, gets a team of web designers and app developers to translate that vision to the digital space, and lines up some celebrity buzz, and many, many months later, voilà! A redesign is born.