When Russian composer Igor Stravinsky debuted his Rite of Spring ballet and orchestral work for the spring 1913 concert season in Paris, its advanced composition style nearly caused a “riot of spring” amongst the audience.
Although Stravinsky’s work has achieved worldwide acceptance and acclaim in the century since its inaugural performance, its tumultuous beginnings illustrate an enduring reality about the human resistance to change. Notwithstanding the well-worn cliché about change as the only true constant in our ever-evolving world, we kick and scream and dig in our heels whenever someone presumes to “improve” upon things that are familiar. As Stravinsky (like Mozart, Beethoven, and many other composers before him) learned, audiences were familiar with how music “should” sound, and they were outraged by the presumption they might be persuaded to like something new.
Though we are far from the kind of dramatic avant-garde change that ignited such passion in Paris a century ago, resistance to change (both ours and yours) is always a factor in the magazine team’s discussions and decisions about the style and format of this magazine. As longer-term readers may remember, we unveiled the first major overhaul – a significant break with the past – in the March/April issue published in 2008. In the March/April issue for 2010, we made more changes. As explained at the time, we took advantage of changes driven by agency branding requirements to develop a more open cover. Because the magazine’s name at the time – FAA Aviation News – was no longer an accurate reflection of our mission, we also used this issue to introduce a new and, we think more descriptive, name: FAA Safety Briefing.
A Different Rite of Spring
It seems to have become a rite of spring for us to introduce design and other updates in our March/April edition – perhaps because it is consistent not only with the idea of spring renewal, but also with the notion of spring as the true beginning of the aviator’s year. Here are some of the changes you may have noticed in thumbing through the March/April 2013 issue of FAA Safety Briefing:
Cover: To give you a better “at a glance” idea of what’s inside, we have already begun to list two to three article titles and locations on the cover.
Table of Contents: We significantly transformed the inside front cover area to give you a larger and more informative table of contents page.
Department/Column Banners: Sharp-eyed readers will know that we have already been using a different department/column banner style in the FAA Faces department. In this issue, we have aligned the rest of the banners with this design, which gives us more space for content. We’ve updated the design elements for each department/column banner and, to improve each area’s visual identity, we have given each a unique color scheme.
Back Cover: We’ve already been using QR codes for the magazine’s website, which, as reported in the January/February 2013 ATIS Department, now provides links to mobile-friendly versions of FAA Safety Briefing. We’re adding a QR code for our Twitter handle – @FAASafetyBrief – so you can scan with a smartphone and go straight to our Twitter feed. If you’re not already following us on Twitter, we hope you’ll take the opportunity to do so.
We hope you will find these design changes to your liking – a “right” of spring rather than a “riot.” And, though you can probably expect to see additional design changes in the years to come, we promise that our commitment to serving you as the FAA safety policy voice for non-commercial general aviation is as constant as the northern star. (FAA Safety Briefing MarApr 2013)