How Do We Look?

Published On
Jul 17, 2018

No, it’s not a new haircut. It’s a complete makeover. Thanks for noticing.

We have two orders of business this month. First, the print edition redesign.

Over the years, we’ve updated ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR’s appearance a few times, but we and our graphic designer Bonotom Studio Inc. haven’t completely overhauled the magazine for a decade. We aren’t a team that endorses change for the sake of change, and Bonotom has always presented our aesthetic identity to our audience (that’s you) in a way no other designers could.

However, some of our main design elements started to look dated and we thought there was room for improvement in the magazine’s overall readability and usability. We decided to redesign.

You know contracting and working with clients, so you probably understand there are exhaustive preconstruction phases in which you have to discover your client’s needs and provide an estimate, and then you have to learn your customer’s schedule demands and manage the project accordingly. It must sometimes seem like an equal amount of work goes into planning a project as actually working it. The same can be true in media design.

However, since we go way back with Bonotom, the redesign process was a breeze. This spring, we met with Paul Philpott, Bonotom’s art director, and Tom Specht (the Tom in Bonotom), and they showed us the first concepts for this new design. They nailed it. While we gave them feedback and have made tweaks, most of what you see in this issue is straight from their brains, with help from Chris Specht and Ken Ceccucci.

We want to express our compliments and thanks to Bonotom for this redesign. It’s not easy to modernize the look of a magazine, especially one with a look that was so iconic and lasting, but they did it. We don’t think anyone else could have done it better. Thanks, guys!

(If you want to check out the redesign, subscribe here or read the digital edition.)

Onto the second order of business, the 2018 Profile of the Electrical Contractor. The Profile is one of our most important contributions to the electrical construction industry. Since 1966, we have surveyed ECs from across the United States in an effort to understand what makes their businesses tick and how well they’re ticking. We bring you industry statistics that you can’t find anywhere else.

So what did we learn? The biggest finding is that electrical contractors are diversifying their business more than ever. This isn’t a surprise. Not to toot our own horn, but we’ve noted this trend for the last two decades at least. To give you a sense of scale of the change, in our 2004 study, we found traditional power and distribution accounted for 69 percent of the revenue in electrical construction. In this study, only 14 years later, that number has dropped to 25 percent.

We also learned that, while most companies stayed the same size since the 2016 Profile, of the ones that changed, more grew rather than shrank. Also, ECs are confident that the larger economy will continue to grow over the next few years. To learn more, click here for our full analysis of the study. On top of that, we’ll have even more on the Profile next month!

We hope you like what we’ve done with the place. We like what you’re doing out there. Keep it up!

About the Author

Timothy Johnson


Timothy Johnson is the former digital editor for ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine.

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