Notice anything different? What do you think? Do you like it?

Those were the questions I asked my daughters last month when I walked into the living room wearing a shirt that I thought looked really good on me. I was uncomfortable, though. The shirt seemed a little too trendy, too young for my 43-year-old frame. But I reasoned that if the shirt did look silly, my 8-year-old and 5-year-old certainly would let me know — quickly and loudly.

The girls reacted by screaming and howling. But wonder of wonders, miracles of miracles, the girls didn't like the shirt on me — they loved it.

Making the move to a more contemporary look had made me uneasy — I really liked my short-sleeve checked shirts and sweater vests. Those shirts and sweaters had served me well. There wasn't anything wrong with them, in fact. But I looked around and concluded change was needed.

The same feelings arose during the redesign of the magazine, Religious Conference Manager. I enjoyed the magazine's old look — it had served the publication and its readers very well for more than six years.

But it was time for a change. We knew that there were typefaces and layout possibilities that would serve you, the reader, even better.

With the decision made that a design change was going to occur, it was time to make decisions — the typefaces, color palette, layout treatments, caption styles, column widths, and size for the body copy, to name just a few.

Art Director Sharon Carlson of Prism Business Media developed multiple options for each page — the table of contents, president's message, voices, and the rest. From there, we expressed preferences, and Sharon went back and sharpened the designs, getting closer to what would work the best for the magazine.

At that stage we had not chosen a color palette — the colors that would be used in the magazine's graphics — and that had to be done before final decisions could be made.

We chose a color palette called “Rich, Deep Hues” that I think reflects RCMA's membership: colorful yet tasteful, bold yet respectful, deep-thinking yet fun-loving. The same can be said for the other new design elements.

So, I hope that when you opened the magazine this month, your screams and howls were because you loved it. But I understand if you don't. The old design was like an old friend, and I'm guessing you were comfortable with it. I certainly was.

But time never stops, and styles change. I hope you agree that Religious Conference Manager's new style is a good fit.
Larry Keltto