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Project Type

Design & layout

In 2020, on behalf of my company, I entered into a partnership with the Associations, Media & Publishing Network (AM&P) to produce covers, cover stories and, eventually, a complete redesign for their flagship magazine, Signature. I also wrote and designed a 1-2 page column called "Under the Covers," each of which related the creative process followed in developing that issue's cover design. I usually used these columns as a springboard to discuss broader topics in publishing.

When approaching the redesign, I started by identifying the brand promise that distinguished Signature from its peer magazines: This is the inside story of magazine publishing. We would tell the stories of the sausage being made from the perspective of industry insiders, slinging jargon where appropriate. The tone would be informal and conversational, as if a subscription to Signature conferred entry into a private club of like-minded professionals.

I retooled the department headings to illustrate this exclusive arrangement. For example, "Profiles in Publishing" became "Process Stories," using a 4-part structure (one for each plate in 4-color printing) to tell the story of a publishing team that had overcome a relatable challenge. The tagline: "It's just a problem. It gets fixed." I reordered the content to push all of the columns and institutional information to the front of the book, leaving the back half for features alone. I also created a news section, "The Inside Story," to house short-form news and infographics.

Visually, references to print publishing abound. The color palette was built around cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Typographically, I incorporated newspaper-style typefaces along with rougher ones that recalled hand-drawn letters from a much earlier time. And I used a dot pattern overlay for author photos for a touch of crude offset printing. It was fun to be able to design a product that felt like a secret code for the initiated.

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