Editor's Letter: Reimagining FenderBender
Recently, I moved into my first home—one of the few highlights of last year! It was a milestone, to be sure, but there was a moment in the moving process that caught me off guard and proved the most significant. While unpacking, I unboxed the 10-plus years of magazines I saved, starting from when I became an avid magazine reader as a teenager. I was surprised how oddly emotional that moment was; it reminded me how much I truly loved magazines back then, dreamed of working in the industry, and now, I was moving into a home that working in that very industry had afforded me.
This also coincided well with the unveiling of a nice refresh and redesign of FenderBender this month. It’s a project we worked on all of last year (particularly our graphic designer, Fue Vang), and it’s not lost on me what a privilege it is to be able to think critically about how to continue to improve this magazine and the reader experience.
The reader experience was, first and foremost, the most important aspect of this redesign. We genuinely want this magazine to be a joy to read—engaging, digestible, relevant, and easy to follow. That’s the goal of the reimagining of our Quick Fix section, the content of which actually fits its name now. You’ll find short, quick-hitting stories and bites of information that allow you to get the most pertinent information you need to know, in less time. Throughout the magazine, you’ll also find more visual elements and sidebars that serve the same purpose—delivering the information, even if you can’t read the whole story. We hope you’ll see that we’ve listened to you and that we get it: you’re busy shop owners and you don’t always have time to sit down and read the magazine front to back.
I do hope you’ll take the time to read our main feature this month, “A Look Back at FenderBender Trend Stories from 2015," because it’s a fun one. Associate editor Mike Munzenrider dove deep into our 2015 archives to find the five trends we predicted would shake up the collision repair industry—and what’s happened in the five years since. It’s a great time to look back as we move into a new year, particularly after a difficult time. Reading through it, it’s a great reminder that this industry has always been one full of change, and the next few years won’t be any different.