The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

In the June issue, Robert Heldt, president of Custom Media K. K., the publisher of this magazine for the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ), explained how the digital universe is transforming both print and online media.

Heldt’s comments are part of a series of messages from the Editor’s Desk that seek to explain many of the changes, in terms of content and format, that the magazine has undergone since its relaunch, in April.

In this issue, we turn our attention to an important part of the team that is driving through many of the changes, namely, the designers. Due to their creativity and hard work, the magazine is undergoing perhaps its boldest redesign in its 52–year history.

“We’ve spent a lot of time listening to the ACCJ leadership as well as to readers and contributors to the magazine. Bearing their ideas in mind, as also the latest industry trends, we are seeing changes designed to improve our readers’ experience of the magazine,” says Custom Media’s Studio Manager Paul Leonard, who hails from the UK and has enjoyed over 27 years in the trade.

Content and form
In addition to the magazine’s new title—changed from the ACCJ Journal to, simply, The Journal—readers will have noticed the all-new format with two sections.

The first part is dedicated to content about global business in Japan, based on long-form writing by professional journalists; the second is reserved for ACCJ matters: the voices and activities of members.

The format of the magazine has also undergone a major renewal.

“Readers who are familiar with The Journal,” says Michael Pfeffer, a designer at Custom Media and former New York resident, “may have noticed a change from the moment the April issue was in their hands. With its glossy cover, the entire feel of the magazine is different.”

Much else has been revamped, as can be seen once you open the magazine and begin to navigate within. There are, for instance, two contents pages: one for the long-form journalism section and the other, following this segment, for the ACCJ section.

Information is presented with more color; improved use of space; emphasis on large, impactful images where possible; and imaginative use of graphics and infographics.

“We are working together to create visually compelling, easy-to-read, in-depth material for the magazine that brings to life the words of our writers and contributors,” adds Ximena Criales, another Custom Media designer, from Mexico.

Global authority, local expertise
Now available in print, online, and in downloadable PDF format, The Journal—with its fresh content and appearance—is being positioned with guidance by the ACCJ as “The authority on global business in Japan.”

This is a challenge that Leonard, Pfeffer, and Criales are embracing with gusto.

The designers not only hope that you will continue to enjoy reading the magazine but also—and equally important to their efforts—wish to hear what you think of the changes.