Knowledge Center

May 18, 2015 Branding, Design, Journals, Useful Tidbits

How to Approach a Journal Redesign

If you’re considering redesigning one or more of your journals, there are a few steps you can take to ensure you get the best possible results. Here are a few steps to ensure your redesign will be a successful one.

Identify the Need

First off, solidify the reasons for the redesign. Why is it needed? Why is it needed now? A few possible reasons may be:

  • The journal content is changing. This is a good time to take on additional changes for the broader benefit of the journal and its subscribers.
  • A current publication is being changed to journal status. Another excellent opportunity to launch the journal with a new design.
  • The current design is outdated. Many times covers get the attention of redesigns every so often, leaving the heavy content inside to sit for years and years (and even decades!)
  • A focus group found a disconnect between the content and layout. This is a big problem — if the type of content conveys one message, but your layout conveys another, you are missing opportunities for better brand value.
  • Your organization is undergoing a rebranding effort. The new or updated messaging communicated through new branding must follow through to every aspect of the organization, especially journals.

Create Goals

Once the needs are identified the goals become pretty clear. Are you hoping to connect the look of your family of journals? Differentiate one from another? Communicate a new brand? Elevate the journal?

Use a Professional

Contact professionals to assist in the process. A good journal designer will have experience with scholarly journal design and working with compositors, excellent typographical skills, knowledge on how to best use white space when conveying dense research content, understand how online journals are read, and the limitations that exist within the journal publishing realm. A professional will work with your compositor for their input on layout changes and if/how the new design affects their workflow.

Be Prepared

Use the wackiest, craziest sample article you can find that accounts for every type of weird occurrence possible. You must design for all types of occurrences so that when they show up in the workflow there is a standard in place.  Be sure to have templates created of every possible article type, and all front matter. How those templates connect to one another tells a visual story that ties the whole journal together.

Document Everything

Make sure to document rules and specs to cover all those instances. Also be sure you have graphic identity standards in place, so that the colors, fonts and graphic rules are all easily accessible.

Journal redesigns are a big deal, but with some careful planning and the right team, you can experience a smooth process while successfully elevating your family of journals.

Contact us to see samples of the journals we’ve redesigned or to discuss your situation.

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