IDG’s PC World Announces Print Redesign

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – AUGUST 1, 2001 – PC World, the largest technology publication in the United States, debuts a new design with its September 2001 issue (on newsstands August 14). Continuing its editorial mission to meet the needs of tech-savvy managers, the redesign heightens PC World's product focus, improves navigation throughout the publication, and underscores its tagline, "Technology Advice You Can Trust."


"Over the years, PC World has built unparalleled loyalty with its audience. According to Spring 2001 MRI, on average, PC World readers spend a substantial amount of time absorbing each issue and refer back to individual pages often," said Kevin McKean, editorial director of PC World. "Which is why it was critical that we preserved the visual continuity of the previous design, while refreshing the overall presentation. The new look showcases existing franchise areas, such as the Top 100, integrates the Internet in innovative ways, emphasizes the lab expertise of the PC World Test Center, and much more."

National Magazine Award-winner Don Morris ( was commissioned to update the successful PC World format his firm developed in 1996. Over the winter, quantitative and qualitative research-in the form of online surveys and focus groups-was conducted to determine reader preferences and to provide a blueprint for design objectives.

A primary goal of the redesign is to simplify the navigation. To that end, the multi-color-coding of sections is replaced by a single key color of burnt orange. Header, footer, and column rules disappear for a more open page. All dimensional icons and flags are now treated typographically to reduce clutter. Opening page flags for columns, the "New Products" section, and the re-named "News & Trends" section are unified with a brushed metal look reflective of the hi-tech gear covered by the magazine. To clarify the focus of each section, taglines are introduced and internal tables of contents are streamlined for easy reference.

Since the 1996 redesign, the Web has emerged as an important resource for magazine readers, and the new design integrates the Internet into print in powerful ways. To boost visibility, Internet addresses are now printed in blue, just as they might appear on a Web page. The relationship between PC World magazine and its companion Web site, ( is reinforced throughout, with the URL included in the folio line of every page.'s award-winning "Privacy Watch" column makes the transition to print as part of "Consumer Watch" coverage. And new "Find-It" numbers (for example: are introduced to aid Web searches. These simplified addresses help point readers to the appropriate Product Finder page on the Web site, as well as help avoid complicated vendor URLs.

One of PC World's strengths is its lab-tested, product-focused editorial. To complement existing PC WorldBench scores, Top 100 rankings, and "Best Buy" awards, the new design will inaugurate a PC World Star Rating system. This simple, five-point rating is intended to give readers an easy-to-find, quick-to-interpret assessment of a product's overall quality. Both the Find-It numbers and Star Ratings are components of new summary boxes at the end of reviews in the "New Products" and "News & Trends" sections, which now include shorter articles to accommodate more products. In addition, the new design simplifies the Top 100 charts, which move to a single color against white, integrating the charts more seamlessly into the layout. Within the charts, the columns are rearranged to provide essential information on the left.

PC World's previous redesign won a 1998 Silver Award from the American Society of Business Press Editors (ASBPE). Since 1995, PC World has won more than 80 editorial and design awards. This year alone, PC World's staff has been honored with five Maggie Awards, two Jesse H. Neal Business Journalism Awards, and most recently, seven national trophies from the ASBPE.

About PC World

PC World Communications, Inc. is the publisher of PC World and ( and is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company. The winner of the 1999 and 2000 Grand Neal Award for editorial excellence, PC World is the world's largest computer publication with a circulation rate base of 1.25 million. With an average of 1.3 million unique visitors per month (Media Metrix, Jan. – Dec. 2000), is a leading online resource for PC-product buyers and users. IDG publishes more than 300 computer magazines and newspapers and 4,000 book titles in 80 countries and offers online users the largest network of technology-specific sites around the world through (, which comprises more than 270 targeted Web sites in 70 countries. IDG is also a leading producer of 168 computer-related expositions in 35 countries, and research arm International Data Corporation (IDC) provides computer industry research and analysis through 50 offices in 43 countries worldwide. Company information is available at


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