When I was in publishing, many moons ago, I used to have a maxim: “you can never have enough maps, graphs and tables”. I’m delighted to see that The Lawyer‘s crisp new ‘infographic’ redesign for 2012 meets with my approval, packed with tons of data in tables and colourful pie-charts.

Speaking frankly, I usually sigh inwardly when a publisher announces a redesign. What seems like a radical refresh in the hallowed cloisters of most magazine publishers often barely registers a flicker among the readership, which cares, primarily, about one thing: content. Design is usually of subliminal importance; they know when it’s not right, but otherwise just want it to look nice.

The nice new Lawyer magazine

The Lawyer has managed to hit the right note on both counts, noticeably pumping-up the content while delivering it in a pleasing, modern package (albeit one that puts me in mind of Campaign, the advertising trade publication which has an almost mythical reputation among trade hacks). The result is not only very readable but also feels more weighty.

So a big thumbs-up for The Lawyer. I wonder whether it will prove to be more than its doughty rival Legal Week, which has kept pace with, and even, dare one say, splashed the odd shot ahead of The Lawyer’s bows from time to time, can cope with. While my colours are, as a regular blogger on The Lawyer’s website and occasional contributor to the magazine, quite firmly nailed to The Lawyer‘s mast, I hope not. A direct competitor always helps to keep one on one’s toes.

To use a terrible old journo-cliche, one which would have me drummed out of most respectable news-rooms, ‘only time will tell’.

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