In its 86-year history, this is why Fortune has its tenth new logo
“Starting today, you’ll see it reflected on this website, in our growing family of newsletters, and in the forthcoming issue of the (completely redesigned) magazine” says Paul Martinez, Fortune magazine’s creative director, of the publication’s newest logo. It’s a brand new visual language, which aims to revive and take to a brand new direction, Fortune’s modernist heritage.
“Why would we change the look of such an iconic brand? To reflect our working thesis, which we outlined in November, that every aspect of business is about to change, creating what we call the “21st Century Corporation.” Months in the making, the goal of our redesign is to create a visual representation of this new entity” he says. “We used Fortune’s modernist heritage as a starting point. My talented team of art directors—Peter Herbert, Josue Evilla, and Michael Solita—worked with editor Alan Murray and deputy editor Clifton Leaf to pair this aesthetic with a strong, graphic, forward-leaning look. The result? A design that is clean, modern, approachable, and clutter-free”.
The first complete representation of Fortune’s new aesthetic in the November issue shows what Martinez and his team are after. Its design emphasizes a quick, serviceable “front of book” that is full of digestible data, news, and takeaways. For the “feature well” they created a clean canvas to deliver strong, long-form stories – “a Fortune signature since our first issue in 1930.”
“But the new logo says it all” adds Martinez. “We reached back into Fortune’s extensive archives to recreate a modern sans serif design that further emphasizes a clean, bold and contemporary design. You’ll find it used in conjunction with a subdued colour palette and a well-defined grid. It’s a new era, and we can’t wait to get started” he comments.
Uncommonly among national monthly magazines of a certain age, Fortune has shown a taste for reinventing its nameplate or logo, which first appeared at the top of the inaugural issue in February 1930. Created to be a luxurious, forward-looking publication, ‘the Ideal Super-Class Magazine’ founder Henry Luce wrote in 1929, that it was “richly illustrated” and “distinguished” and whose “de luxe” pages conveyed an “arresting vitality”, Fortune was a reflection of the hope, promise, and prestige of the new world order.
“In that spirit, Fortune has occasionally revamped the styling of its name. Generations of aspiring executives know Fortune for its strong, all-caps serif typeface; it hasn’t always been so. The title spent the first 18 years of its life in mixed case, and returned to it for a brief period in the early 1950s. In actual fact “five of the ten logos that Fortune has seen over its lifetime weren’t in serif typefaces at all—from the low-rise spread capital letters of the title’s mid-century modern period to the, well, groovier options that carried the publication through the 1970s and 1980s”. This surely is a brand new take on an all-time-classic, critically acclaimed, publication.
Tags/ logo, magazine, branding, publication, sans serif, paul martinez, fortune magazine, fortune, modernist, 21st century corporation, clifton leaf, alan murray, michael solita, peter herbert, josue evilla