Published by the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, 2 × 2 was conceived and produced by department chair Dr. Sandro Galea as part of a growing focus on communicating findings to better inform and influence the epidemiologic conversation. Dr. Galea’s ultimate goal was to translate science into policy and action that improves population health. He saw a broad audience publication in the format of a magazine as an essential step toward achieving that goal.
The publication name 2 × 2 derives from an elementary concept and tool in epidemiology, the 2 × 2 table (used to examine the relationship between two or more categorical values). To honor the elegance and simplicity of the name—a simple and elegant logo was designed. It consists of a simple 2 × 2 table drawing (without an outer border), rotated 45° and used as the multiplication sign (or “x”) between the numerals.
For clarity in an otherwise noisy informational space—the overall design direction was to make liberal use of negative space, maintain a neat and orderly typographic hierarchy, and use images sparingly in number—but substantially for impact.