Sep 24/15
By Ed Garcia

5 keys for a successful magazine design

Our team recently had the exciting opportunity to completely rebrand and redesign UC San Diego's alumni magazine, Triton. We set out with the goal of creating a publication that would stand out from ordinary alumni magazines and stack up against any major consumer pub. The challenge revealed five keys to a successful magazine design:

  1. Content is king. We love design — no denying that. But when designing a magazine, it's important to remember not to over-design. Visuals should support, not distract from the story. We use design as a tool to draw the reader in, and get them engaged with the story.
  2. Get creative. Sometimes client-provided images are—well, let's just say less than ideal. We like to see these challenges as opportunities to create original artwork—custom illustrations or graphics that bring the story to life.
  3. Print it out. Post it up. When designing a 64-page publication, it's easy to get lost in the details. We make a point to print out the entire book at full size and post it on our critique wall for all to see and evaluate. That big picture perspective allows us to see where there's cohesion and where there's chaos.
  4. Proof, proof — and proof again. With a publication this size, there are plenty of opportunities for hiccups. We use 3 layers of proofing to ensure there are no surprises when the finished product is in our hands.
  5. Teamwork makes the dream work. We know design, and the team at UC San Diego knows their alumni. Collaboration was key to creating a new Triton that connected with its audience, engaged the community, and rekindled alumni pride.

Check out the digital edition of the print magazine here


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