Our next cover, which you'll see on newsstands from October 11, features our revised masthead, which you can see in the image above (the house is by Andrea Bell of Pete Bossley Architects).

A couple of months ago we decided that our previous masthead no longer fit as cohesively as we would like with the rest of the magazine. When art director Miranda Dempster started work here about 18 months ago, she introduced a family of rounded, friendly-looking fonts that she felt softened the harder edges of some of the architecture we feature, and enhanced the magazine's sense of approachability. Once she did this, the old masthead started to feel a bit dated; its pointiness and heavily 'constructed' feeling no longer represented what we wanted the magazine to stand for.

So we contacted Arch MacDonnell (that's him in the photo above) at Auckland design firm Inhouse and asked him and his team to come up with options for a new masthead that better reflected our vision for the magazine. We said we wanted something that felt evolutionary rather than revolutionary, especially considering the magazine only changed its name from NZ Home & Entertaining to HOME New Zealand three years ago. Change is good, but we didn't want to force too much radical change on our readers.

After a few meetings in which Arch showed us a really exciting set of options, the masthead you see above is the one we opted for. Interestingly, as we've been showing it around the office here, some people don't even notice that there's been a change, something that suits us fine, as we didn't want our regular readers to feel they no longer recognised us.

We like the new masthead's friendliness and approachability, and we also like how clean and graphic it feels. The period at the end containing the letters 'NZ' adds a nice sense of solidity, a feeling that we emphatically know what we're on about (which, most of the time, we like to think we do!). What we like most of all is how it sits so comfortably on our new cover, as if it logically belongs there.
Arch is on our next contributors' page answering questions about the new masthead. Here's what he had to say:

HOME New Zealand: How did you and your team come up with our new masthead?

Arch MacDonnell: We wanted to soften the hard-edged angularity of the old masthead. It needed to feel more 'homely' without being too cutesy or crafty. We opted for a customised weight of Gotham rounded, an elegant and modern font from the talented folk at Hoefler & Frere-Jones. We think the resulting letterforms are assertive yet not imposing. Friendly, yet not folksy. All in all, a well-rounded solution.

Did you enjoy the process?

It's always nice to work on a project that needs to evolve rather than radically change.
Getting up close and personal with the letterforms is something we like to do! And it’s amazing how little adjustments here and there have such an effect on the personality of a letterform.

What else are you working on at the moment?

As always there's a diverse mix of projects simmering away at Inhouse. There's a new wine label for &Co simply called The Supernatural, with a brief to break wine label conventions, a brand refresh for the Auckland Art Fair, a new book project with the irrepressible John Reynolds, and an identity extension for a coffee roastery/restaurant/bar in London (Caravan) as well as developing a series of our own graphic objects that we'll be releasing in the coming months.