from the editor

 Contents: UU World Back Issue

What's new in UU World

Three years after introducing the expanded and redesigned UU World, the time has come for further improvements. This issue introduces several changes: new content, new paper, new design, and new stewardship.

Content: A new feature called Forum makes its debut on page 13. The Forum is a space for essays that present fresh and significant ideas by Unitarian Universalists that are furthering UU values in the world beyond our churches. Forum essays present a strong case that that there’s a better way, or a better understanding.

The first Forum essayist is the career consultant and author Cliff Hakim, who more than ten years ago concluded that to keep a solid footing in a workplace rife with layoffs and mergers people need to think of themselves as self-employed even if they hold salaried jobs. In the decade since, the workplace has grown increasingly unstable and Hakim’s idea has gained traction. His essay is adapted from the new second edition of his book, We Are All Self-Employed.

Forum essays for future issues will address policy issues, theological understanding, and other practical insights like Hakim’s new perspectives on the world of work. Lots of fascinating ideas emerge from UU minds, and now there will be a place for them in our pages.

Paper: Over the years we have worked to make UU World as easy to read as we can. Judging from the diminished flow of complaints, we’ve been making progress, but we still receive a small but steady stream from readers troubled by the glare from glossy paper. We explored switching to matte-finish coated paper, but it costs a lot. So for stewardship reasons we’ve decided to switch to the paper you’re looking at. In addition to eliminating glare, the new paper should make our articles easier to read. Ink spreads a bit on uncoated paper, giving each letter more weight.

Design: The redesign of UU World three years ago has proven quite popular, so we have taken pains to work this new round of changes into the fabric of the magazine’s existing look; the most fundamental elements of any magazine—the logo and the text typeface—remain the same. Starting with this issue:

  • More color has been added to the logo, but cover design overall remains the same.
  • The use of color inside is more sparing; now about half the pages will be black and white. The Reflections section, the major features, and the opening pages of UU News will retain color; content in the front and back of the magazine—including this column, letters to the editor, classified advertising, and the Looking Back page—require little illustration and henceforth will be in black and white.
  • New design accents replace color accents on these pages so they will remain visually arresting, along with appropriate new type faces for headlines and accents.
  • The front of the magazine will offer greater substance. The Congregational Life feature has moved to the front, between the Letters and Reflections sections, where it will be joined by the Forum essay.

Stewardship: The UUA has not been immune to the worrisome economy’s impact on not-for-profit organizations, and the whole Association is operating on a smaller budget than a year ago. So when we set out to introduce changes that would help the magazine serve its readers better, we were also looking for ways to cut costs. Reducing the amount of color and switching to the new paper, in addition to adoption of new production technology, saves about $100,000 a year.

Our staff takes pride in producing a fine magazine on a tiny budget, knowing that every dollar we don’t spend can instead be used by other parts of the UUA to help congregations, amplify the voice of UU values in the world, and advance justice. So we welcome these changes. Please let me know how you like them, and if you have further ideas for making the magazine better.

Tom Stites