Independent School alumni magazines compete for reader attention against consumer publications, as well as university and college alumni magazines. The time of creating news-packed, yearbook-style magazines is past. If a school is going to invest the time and money to develop, print, and distribute a magazine, it had better be worth it. A key way to do this? Direct the narrative.
Kent Place made the decision to merge their two publications, Keeping Pace and Voyager. One was a traditional, yearbook-style magazine with campus news, class notes, and candid photography, and the other was a tabloid newsletter that shared stories of the community and curriculum. Rachel Naggar, director of marketing and communications, saw the opportunity to merge the two into one publication that celebrates the girls and women of Kent Place.
The project began with our partner, Vicki Glembocki, critiquing both publications and developing an editorial plan for the new publication, Kent Place. The plan included a mission statement to guide the development of stories, new sections and nomenclature, and direction to help vary content development. The approved plan was developed into an oversized magazine (celebrating their big spirit and accomplishments) that is packed with content, while still being inviting and fun to read.
The design was inspired by our campus visit—the tudor buildings, stained glass windows, and walls showcasing the voice of the school and the work of the students, made an indelible impact. We incorporated the school’s identity guidelines, including fonts and colors, while expanding it to include direction for portrait photography and illustration.
Illustration is an important element of the new design. Each illustrator we select works captures the essence of the story while remaining true to the Kent Place identity and brand. Stories like “The Project That Changes Everything” and “You Realize: Wow, We’re Doing Something Amazing” are visually richer with the addition of illustrations by a commissioned artist. “A Crash Course: The Kent Place Strategic Plan,” a digestible four page synopsis of the school’s plan, “How to Be Well,” highlighting of one of the school’s strategic priorities and how alumni can incorporate some of the lessons into their own day, “A Life-changing Course,” and “Joy in Community” come to life through illustration.
An additional aspect of our partnership with Kent place is taking these visually rich stories and transcending print into captivating social media stories.
Recognition: InspirED Brilliance Award: Gold, Printed Magazine; InspirED Brilliance Award: Silver, Magazine Feature Article Design; InspirED Brilliance Award: Bronze, Magazine Cover Design