As you've no doubt noticed, our cover has a new look this week. The typeface on the logo is new and, to make it more legible, larger. Also, SPORTS and ILLUSTRATED in our logo are stacked, providing a logical place on the cover to bill other features in the magazine, as we do in this issue, or display a second picture. And that's not all: With this issue we introduce substantial design changes inside the book as well. Type on the contents pages has a more unified appearance; headline styles throughout the magazine are bolder. And we've moved the letters-to-the-editor section to the front of the magazine, making way in the back for POINT AFTER, a new page of personal commentary on sport. Managing editor Mark Mulvoy says, "We felt we had too many design elements at work. We wanted a cleaner, clearer presentation without losing our boldness."
The man who was chosen by Mulvoy to be the architect of the redesign is Steven Hoffman, who joins SI as design director. Hoffman, 35, studied design and photography at the California Institute of the Arts, where he shot photo essays on subjects ranging from Chicano street life in East L.A. to the inner workings of Disneyland. After Cal Arts, Hoffman waited tables at a Manhattan restaurant—his most memorable customer was Rod Serling ("I kept expecting to slide into the fourth dimension")—before landing a job as an associate art director of New West magazine. After five years he moved to New York magazine and later became a design consultant for a number of other magazines, including Newsweek, Savvy, Geo and Business Week.
One day in early 1983 illustrator Barbara Ensor stopped by to show Hoffman her portfolio. They were engaged two weeks later and married on March 10, 1984. This past July 27 their daughter, Georgia, was born.
Hoffman considers the redesign of SI a special challenge. "SI's readers are comfortable with the magazine, and we didn't want to change its familiar feeling," Hoffman says. "But we did feel that certain changes would give it a more elegant and contemporary look, and would create a stronger relationship between the words and pictures."