The evolution continues

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By Mark Rosenzweig

Our commitment to making Chemical Processing even more useful to you involves refining the way we present material, as well as our content. This month's issue underscores the ongoing nature of this process from both angles.

Undoubtedly you've noticed that this page looks different from those in past issues. All the pages inside the magazine have been redesigned. Group Art Director Steve Herner has worked hard to give us a more contemporary appearance, reformatting our pages to make them a little less dense and more attractive. He has switched the fonts we use, adopted a broader color palette and polished our treatment of graphics. The result is a magazine that isn't a jarring departure from the Chemical Processing you are used to, but one that, we expect, is easier to read and more visually appealing.

When we first started talking about the redesign, we stressed that the graphics should complement -- not compete -- with the text. This may seem obvious, but too many trade magazines, to my mind, emphasize look over content -- frequently, perhaps, because it is easier to develop dramatic illustrations than compelling text. From the outset, we were sensitive that graphics convey a tone and so should support the practical, technical nature of the magazine. This point came up at the first meeting of CP's Editorial Board. One of the board members warned that inappropriate cartoon treatments trivialize a technical subject. He cited one glaring example from a competitive magazine. We don't intend to make that mistake.

We also understand that improving a magazine's appearance is a hollow exercise if there isn't material inside that you want to read.

You certainly should want to read this month's cover story (A New Spin on Safety, p. 16). Effective safety measures are critical at plants. Yet, poorly thought out efforts can wind up being counterproductive. Dennis Hendershot, a safety guru in the engineering division of Rohm and Haas, points out the underappreciated risks of implementing one measure to improve inherent safety without considering its implications elsewhere in the process. Unfortunately, this is an all too common error, he says, that can compromise the ultimate results of a safety initiative or even lead to operations becoming more hazardous.

Also in this issue, you'll notice a fine-tuning of our On the Web department. Columnist Alan Hodel now is scouring the Internet for sites that offer troubleshooting guidance or design/selection advice tailored to the chemical industry, or that host active discussion groups that delve into such areas. You should find this focus not just valuable, but a real time-saver. For instance, consider this month's coverage of solids handling. Alan highlights six sites that provide such practical information so you don't have to wade through the 21,900 listings that Google gives for this topic!

Rest assured that Chemical Processing will continue to evolve, and that better serving your needs will guide our efforts.

Mark Rosenzweig is editor in chief of Chemical Processing magazine. E-mail him at mrosenzweig@putman.net.

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