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08/11/2007 - par Mark Tungate

I've written before about the need for agencies to smash through their own borders, imagining themselves less as advertising factories and more as solutions providers. So I was delighted to hear that a Boston-based advertising agency called ­Modernista ! - are exclamation marks modern ? - was responsible for the recent redesign of ­Business Week magazine. In fact the agency had already worked with the title, having named and designed its quarterly business innovation supplement, In.

As Modernista (let's forget the exclamation mark) senior designer Bruce Crocker explains on the blog Agency Spy (agencyspy.wordpress.com), the agency has always had strong design element : in fact its creative teams consist of trios of writers, art directors and designers, working closely with strategic planners. As well as redesigning magazines, Modernista has also directed a video for U2. All this seems to me like a big step in the right direction. Take a look at the agency's brain-scrambling website at www.modernista.com.

And the magazine redesign ? Well, the layout of Business Week could hardly have become any more boring, and the new version is crisp, clean affair with big san-serif capitals and lots of underlining. In fact, it often resembles a blog. Clearly we've entered an era in which web design is influencing press design. This makes articles more bite-sized, but the obsession with horizontal lines is frustrating - I want to click on them to see what lies beyond.

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