The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago manages the quarterly print publication ProfitWise. The reader demographic for this publication is middle aged economists. The previous design had inconsistent covers, tight leading, cluttered pages, and hard-to-read graphs. The body copy was set in a heavy sans serif and made it very hard to read.
The redesign needed to replace an out dated logo and style guide. Based on the reader demographic, the style needed to be sophisticated and modern yet conservative.
The concept for the logo came from the content of ProfitWise— observations made by economists within the Community Development Department. This redesign happened during an interesting time for our economy. People were just starting to recover from the recession. This publication addressed many traditional concerns but with modern and current view points.
We took those two concepts, traditional and modern, and created the new logo combining a more traditional serif typeface with a modern sans serif typeface. Bold new colors were applied to the logo. Navy blue to represent the conservative side of the Federal Reserve and a bold new green to symbolize modern and money.
In order to show sophistication, we wanted to use a white background. In order to be more modern, we introduced a vibrant color palette that would only be used in graphs. This way the colors would not be too distracting but still be clean and modern.
Unlike the previous design, the new typography style would include a serif typeface, Garamond, for body copy. Garamond has a fresher, sweeter feel than other serif faces that you would usually see in a conservative economist publication. This makes it much easier to digest and allows the reader to keep their place easily when they look away to read a graph or chart.
The headlines were set in Ideal Sans. This modern typeface helps bring a serious, yet friendly, voice to the publication.