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Northings the Highlands and Islands Arts Journal from HI-Arts Northings the Highlands and Islands Arts Journal from HI-Arts
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KENNY MATHIESON introduces the new look NORTHINGS

AS OF DECEMBER 2005, the Arts Journal is now 'Northings – Highlands & Islands Arts Journal'. With a new name comes a new look, a process that we have been moving toward over recent months, and is now completed with this re-launch.

What, you may ask, is in a name? Since it’s launch in June 2003, the on-line journal has been called simply the Arts Journal – functional and descriptive, certainly, but lacking a bit of a ring to it. After much head-scratching and rejecting of ideas, the editorial team (well, actually, Robert Livingston) came up with Northings.
As anyone who reads maps will know, northings is the name given to the second half of a UK grid reference (the first bit is an easting). A trawl through various dictionaries produced some more definitions, including these:

north·ing    (nôrthng, -thng)
  1. The difference in latitude between two positions as a result of a movement to the north.
  2. Progress toward the north.
We particularly liked the idea of progress toward the north, which not only implied our focus on the northern part of the country, but also recognised that fact that our ‘home’ area actually stretches quite far south.
We also liked the idea of ‘North-things’ buried in the name. And, frankly, we liked the sound of it. So here it is – the new Northings.

Regular readers will find a few changes beyond the masthead as well. The navigation bars have already been altered, and we hope that they make for even more obvious route-finding (sorry, I can’t get away from cartographical echoes now) around the site.

The central panel has also been streamlined and reworked. The Event and Film Reviews are now presented in a similar style to the news items, while major features in any given month will be accessible both through the Current Features menu and via buttons or links in the central panel.
We have also renamed the opinion piece section of the site – formerly known as ArtsRant, it is now Speakout. As before, everything that goes into Northings will remain available in the Archive section, also accessible through the navigation bar.

The name may have changed, but our mission to provide high quality coverage of the arts in the Highlands & Islands remains unaltered. We feel the journal has come a long way since that first edition, and vistor numbers – close to 10,000 indivudal visitors per day in October – reflect that progress. We look forward to continuing with our efforts to develop the service even further.