MNMO 2.0


At  one point during the photo shoot for our Food-Lover’s Guide, food stylist Lara Miklasevics asked our creative director, Rob Johnson, if she should dust crumbs off the shortbread cookies. (This was just after she’d finished coaxing puzzle pieces made of smoked fish, wild rice, and butter into the shape of Minnesota using an assortment of paintbrushes and tweezers.) I looked at the cookies and thought: What crumbs? Isn’t a shortbread cookie basically one big crumb? But Lara and Rob see things that are invisible to the rest of us—the visual equivalent of a dog whistle.

Even if you can’t immediately identify all the crumb-size details that went into creating Minnesota Monthly’s new look, their sum will register as loudly as a dog’s bark: It’s a design aesthetic that feels fresh, exciting, and cohesive. Rob’s new layouts place greater emphasis on bolder, more striking photography and illustration. There’s simultaneously more white space, and yet more layering of information.

I’m excited to share this redesign with you because it’s just one of the ways we’re making what we do best—telling Minnesota’s stories—more responsive to  today’s lifestyles. We’re tackling topics from multiple angles and perspectives, using an internet-inspired approach that also links you to our digital extras and events. Through in-depth narratives, we explain the how and why behind the news (chronicling wunderkind Surly Brewing’s trajectory to the top of the state’s craft-brewing boom for example). And we’re complementing these stories with selective recommendations to help you better enjoy all our region has to offer (including favorite taprooms and wineries, plus underrated bottles selected by local retailers).

While Rob finessed the visual connection between the “i” in the logo and the teardrop-shaped icons on each section opener, senior editor Quinton Skinner and I were busy refreshing and repositioning the magazine’s core components. We created a new home for events and activities called Stepping Out, which combines Quinton’s arts and entertainment picks with our Scene fundraiser photos. We renamed the opening section Ripple Effect to reflect the idea that the buzzy, thought-provoking bits contained within will inspire conversations, in person and online, that will ripple throughout our community. So once you find out what a Catsup Crapper is, let us know what you think.