New Year, New Look

Surprise!

It’s bigger and it’s better, but it’s still JCK. Not to overemphasize the obvious, but this January issue marks the launch of our newly designed format for JCK.

We’ve been hard at work on it for five months—at the same time we were moving our offices to New York and replacing some of our staff who couldn’t relocate. Suffice to say, we’re one exhausted bunch over here, but we’re also exhilarated with the results.

We hope you will be, too. And rest assured that some things are too important to change. JCK prides itself on being the industry’s No. 1 publication, the leading authority on subjects important to jewelers, and we pride ourselves on covering those subjects thoroughly, objectively, and comprehensively. That hasn’t changed. All the in-depth information you’ve relied upon us to provide is still there, and it’s still as complete as you’ve always expected it to be.

All your favorite news departments are still here as well. We’ve made them bigger and brighter, and even added a few new ones, such as “Red Carpet,” which will be keeping track of the trend-setting celebrity world and who’s wearing whose jewelry. We’ve also added a few lighter tidbits to our front pages: Jewelry is a happy thing, and we should never let ourselves get so serious about our business that we forget to have fun.

Your favorite columnists are still here, offering their opinions of and views on the industry as usual. In the coming months, you’ll see some new columnists—including retailers like yourselves—and we’ll soon be offering all of our readers a chance to be a part of JCK and sound off on something you feel is important to the industry.

What has changed is our presentation. We’ve added bolder graphics and more top-notch photography. Our fashion coverage, especially, has benefited from additional photography, but even our business articles are sporting a bold new look. And, of course, we have a bold new logo. That was a tough call: A business’s logo is its most recognizable symbol, and changing it is a great risk. We felt, however, that the JCK brand is strong enough to support a new logo. After all, we’ve changed it many times over the years, most notably when we dropped the mouthful of “Jewelers’ Circular Keystone” as our flag in 1990 and went to the easier “JCK” as our moniker.

In an era of “makeover mania,” where plastic surgery is advertised in mainstream media, and television programs such as The Swan suggest that the only way to achieve happiness is through radical makeovers, we had a few serious debates about how to redesign JCK. What we didn’t want to do was change what we essentially are. But we’re also in a fashion business, and fashion changes—and we felt it was time for a wardrobe update, so to speak.

We asked a number of people in the industry, both suppliers and retailers, what they thought of the idea. Not only were they highly supportive of a new format, they also told us things about ourselves that we needed to know. We learned that we truly are the book that C-level executives (both big-company CEOs and independent storeowners) depend on most. We also learned that there are things we can do better, like making our articles easier to read.

We know your time is valuable—and limited—but that doesn’t mean your need for information is also limited. Rather than skimp on information, we decided to keep the depth but present it in such a way that you can find the key points quickly and read the finer points at your leisure. You’ll find essential points emphasized in the layouts, with charts and graphs to help you take in information at a glance. And you’ll find it organized in a way that makes sense: News first, then opinion, then fashion and features. We introduced a new section titled “Jewelers’ Notebook,” which now contains all the articles that directly pertain to issues you face in day-to-day business, such as financial management, bench and repair, staff motivation, sales training, and so forth. And we wrap with the new-product announcements and industry news you need to know to stay in the loop.

Special kudos go to Todd Gast, our new art director, who has tirelessly pulled together these pages, with guidance from noted magazine design consultant JC Suares. We hope you enjoy the results and find them useful. Please do tell us what you think—whether positive or negative. We can’t fix something and make it better for you if we don’t know it’s broken. You can e-mail your comments to me directly at hschupak@reedbusiness.com, fax them to us at (646) 746-7131, or write to us at JCK, 360 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10010.