Editor’s Letter for August/September 2022
By John Roark
At some point during the last couple of years, some of my clothes have gotten smaller. It is as mystifying as it sounds. During the COVID lockdown I didn’t dress up or go out much, so many of my favorites just hung there in the closet, apparently shrinking in shame from not being worn. I was going through the rack separating the sacred (a Versace necktie I bought 25 years ago at Harrod’s in London when I was laughably ignorant of the exchange rate between British pounds and U.S. dollars) from the once-stylish (so long, Armani navy double-breasted suit that served me so well). While it felt good to clear out the clutter and make room for the new, that’s when I noticed the conundrum of the incredible shrinking garments. Do not even suggest that I have gotten bigger or that lolling around binge-watching “Ted Lasso” and “The Other Two” with successive pints of Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby had anything to do with it.
Speaking of things outgrown, let’s talk logos. By now you have probably noticed the new Phoenix Home & Garden branding, which made its debut with our June/July issue. The response has been overwhelmingly positive with two exceptions: one longtime reader called to say she “absolutely hates” the typeface we chose (we ended the conversation amicably); and one of my best friends, who bluntly stated that she doesn’t love it and doubts its versatility. Redesigning a magazine’s identity is a very big decision, and we worked on the new logo for more than a year, tweaking, refining, testing and vetting different versions on every conceivable application with advertisers and the many critical eyes we have on staff.
With this issue, you’ll see that we have a new look inside of the magazine as well. Our art director and self-confessed old-school “type geek,” Len Loria, has spent many hours grooving on every aspect of the text in our publication. It’s a fun process, and it’s exhilarating to move on from elements that no longer fit. We’re over the moon with the results and are excited to share this update and the next chapter of our evolution with you.
Change is necessary. Growing is good. But let my personal experience serve as a cautionary tale. On the off chance that I am to blame for shirts that don’t fit me the way they used to, I head back to the gym and pass the ice cream section of my grocer’s freezer with averted eyes. I wish you a sleek, svelte and happy summer.
Editor in Chief