Engaging through Colloquy

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences / Colloquy Magazine

Engaging through Colloquy

To communicate effectively, an alumni magazine must reflect the interests and ideals of its community. When that community is broad in both geography and background, that challenge must be met with a thoughtful and intentioned approach.

Colloquy is published by the Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS). To help the magazine be more compelling and to better connect with graduate alumni, GSAS worked with 2communiqué on its redesign. The word colloquy means “a conversational exchange,” and the creative process, from structure and nomenclature to design and art direction, was developed in the spirit of conversation.

We began with an in-depth critique and plan. Through our intake, we learned that the GSAS community is curious about and engaged in a range of topics beyond their studies. Scientists want to read about art; filmmakers want to learn about bioscience, etc. This insight inspired the direction for the interior pages, creating a two-dimensional space full of curious people and interesting topics.

The audience defines the editorial direction.

To support the magazine’s storytelling theme, candid portrait photography gives the reader the feeling of being in the same space with the subject. Provocative and whimsical illustrations complement the photo-rich magazine, allowing for more complex stories to be told visually. And the new nomenclature builds on conversational language like “greeting,” “discourse,” and “conversation.”

The photo direction was approachable and conversational. Photographs by Dana Smith and Jared Leeds

The end result for the print magazine is a two-dimensional space that mimics a real-world conversation; but it is hard to create a conversation in a biannual print magazine.

To further build on the connections with the GSAS community, we worked with the communication team to re-envision the school’s news website, which included Colloquy. The final designs work within the GSAS CMS but allow for a much more editorial approach with the content.

A review of the user experience helped us to better organize the content on the site, creating a more intuitive flow and accessibility. With clear organization of content, our explored a print-to-digital translation of Colloquy. Format, typography, and white space were explored and translated into a scrolling page.

An alumni publication should have a strategic digital presence to connect with the community.

Recognition: SPD Merit for spread; Capital Region AAF Silver and Bronze ADDYs; UCDA Award of Excellence

“It is a dream to work with 2communiqué on our alumni magazine. They get editorial design. They also take the name of our publication—Colloquy—to heart, making sure that our content and design reflect that conversation with the reader.”

—Ann Hall, Director of Communications, Harvard Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

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