New look for an association magazine.
Colorado Society of Association Executives (CSAE) offers professional excellence and growth within the association management profession and is an advocate for the association community in Colorado. CSAE helps educate and provide resources to association leaders for professional and personal growth. Laurie Shields Design was hired to rework the magazine Executive Memo, updating the design with a more professional and modern look, and creating a magazine that is engaging and easy to read.
Problem to solve: How to create a successful magazine on a tight budget.
Working with the volunteer editorial committee, meeting quarterly, we decide which stories will be included in the upcoming issue. Stories are selected based on which has the most relevance to association executives and their staff to help them become better leaders and decision makers—always keeping the audience in mind when choosing stories.
After the stories are written and edited, they are sent to Laurie Shields Design to lay out pages and search for stock images if original (always preferred) images are not available. A bookmap is provided for ad placement and editorial order structure. This is usually a document with boxes and notes, not a guide on how the design should look. Think of it as a floor plan.
The process of design begins.
In designing a magazine, readers are always considered with every design decision. Design should never get in the way of legibility and clarity. If the design does not move the story forward, it’s not included. There are different kinds of readers… skimmers and deep dive content readers. For example, good headlines that clarify what the subject of the story is about at a glance are helpful to all types of readers. Captions and call outs also help tell the story. It is still true that a well-chosen picture is worth a thousand words, therefore images are selected carefully and always support the story. A reader should have an idea of the message without having to read the main text of the story.
Infographics are a great way to share ideas and educate readers when executed successfully. The key to a good infographic is to have it data driven. We always use data that is relevant, accurate and sourced. Illustrations, charts, graphs should explain and visually clarify the data and not be used as window dressing. If the data is not accurate, illustrating it in a fun way still creates a poor infographic. Don’t cram too much information on a page. Infographics are popular because they simplify complicated messages and in our message overloaded world, that’s a treat.
Once the magazine design is drafted, it is sent to a proofreader and then back to the editors for edits and corrections. All changes are finalized and double-checked. Pre-production stage begins and press-ready PDFs are sent to the printer. Proofs are reviewed and approved, and the final magazine printed and delivered.