National Geographic Refreshes Design

Larger Typeface and Subscriber-Only Cover

One of the most iconic media brands has undergone a significant design refresh. National Geographic’s redesign, revealed in this month’s March issue, is the first under the direction of Editor-in-Chief Nathan Lump and Creative Director Paul Martinez, both of whom joined National Geographic in 2022. The brand is reportedly read by more than 84 million each month across print and digital platforms. At the same time, reflecting the challenges for much of legacy media, NatGeo is shifting to a freelance-based writing model, and the magazine is becoming subscriber-only and no longer on newsstands.



Lump previously served in senior editorial roles at Time Inc., Conde Nast, and The New York Times, while Martinez spent several years as Executive Creative Director at Travel + Leisure.

A few of the many design and content highlights include:

  • the addition of new sections including “In Focus,” a selection of full-page images just in from National Geographic’s photographers in the field, putting a more pronounced emphasis on photography and visual storytelling
  • the interspersing of more short-form content with in-depth features to create a more varied and dynamic reading experience
  • a larger typeface for an easier read, based on reader feedback
  • a subscriber-only cover that features more artful, intimate visuals



Of the design, Lump writes in the March magazine: “We last refreshed the magazine in 2018, so it seemed like a good moment to think about how we could improve it even more. We wanted to give you everything you love about National Geographic while making it feel livelier and easier to read. We kick off the magazine with a set of pages that will appear every month, all demarcated by a yellow border: this welcome note from me, followed by a guide to the entire issue, a selection of the most interesting images just in from our photographers in the field, and an introduction to some of the contributors behind our stories, including National Geographic Explorers.



“You’ll then arrive at the heart of the issue — stories that bring new insights and fresh perspectives. Between our longer, more in-depth features you’ll find shorter articles (differentiated by a beige border) in recurring formats that we hope you’ll come to recognize and anticipate… We love this iteration of National Geographic — which also features a slightly larger type size throughout — and we hope you do too.”