c.2013 New York Times News Service

c.2013 New York Times News Service

For decades, fans of The New Yorker have been drawn to its pages for its meticulously crafted prose, its enterprising journalism and its predictable typeface and layout.

But starting Monday, New Yorker fans are going to notice some small but subtle design changes across its pages, which were led by its creative director, Wyatt Mitchell. The magazine is updating its table of contents, contributors page, “Goings On About Town,” Briefly Noted and Fiction sections. These changes include changing the number of columns, redrawing the Irvin font and introducing Neutraface as a secondary typeface.

Many of these changes are subtle enough that David Remnick, the magazine’s editor, said that if the magazine fell on the floor and was 3 feet away, it would still be identifiable to longtime readers. The changes include a cleaner presentation of the table of contents and contributor pages. The most notable change may be on the “Goings On About Town” pages, which start with a more distinctive presentation of the section’s opening image and include less detail on every museum and show listing. The revised pages also highlight the work of the magazine’s critics.

“We’ve kept the DNA and added some modern elements,” Remnick said.

Remnick said that in the past, The New Yorker had been slow to embrace any major changes (for example, not embracing photography in its pages until 1992.) He added that trimming the listings made sense now because there was less need for such detailed theater and gallery listings and because so many New Yorker readers are not even in New York.

“It’s a living thing. It should also have a sense of fun and improvisation and experiment,” Remnick said about the magazine. “You want to know where the theater is? It’s a Google search away.”

Over the last five years, The New Yorker’s total circulation grew by 1.1 percent to 1,055,922, according to the Alliance for Audited Media. Its advertising pages are down by 4.4 percent in the first half of 2013 compared to the same time the year before, better than the decline of 4.9 percent for consumer magazines over all, according to the Publisher’s Information Bureau.

Remnick said he expected to receive some complaints from readers next week. “That’s OK. Things settle down,” he said. “Our bread and butter is the language and the reporting and the stories that we publish.”