rolling stone reader.jpgThe windows of Macy’s stores natonwide are spotlighting the new line of t-shirts that feature iconic Rolling Stone covers (the $36 purchase price includes a free one-year subscription), and now comes news that the magazine is pondering a major redesign and looking to readers for feedback. The New York Observer‘s John Koblin describes a test issue recently sent to some subscribers as “a tighter, smaller, glossier version of the current issue of Rolling Stone,” with covercandidate Barack Obama smiling down at his American flag lapel pin.

The test issue is the same size as your Vanity Fair, your Gourmet, your Lucky. It’s glossy and perfect-bound (goodbye, staples!), and the spine has all sorts of type on it making it perfect for your bookshelf: the dates, the issue number (RS 1056/1057), and a peek of what’s inside: BARACK OBAMA / BONNAROO / AMY WINEHOUSE / RUSH / GREENLAND. The logo-type in the test issue is a brighter shade of red and smaller.

Ultimately, Koblin is not impressed by the new look. Aside from its more substantial feel, the test issue “just feels so…generic,” he writes. “It doesn’t retain any of the flavor of the old Rolling Stone, and the way that a magazine feels in your hands is half its game.” As for how the magazine feels on your body, you’ll have to buy a t-shirt to find out.