Creating Reader-Focused Journals

Oncology Nursing Society

Creating Reader-Focused Journals

We were selected to redesign two Oncology Nursing Society publications: Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing and the Oncology Nursing Forum. The publications were like most journals: dense with content, with a dull and inconsistent color scheme, and peppered with icon-sized stock imagery that added no value to the reader. Through our research we discovered the audience is primarily educated women seeking continuous learning in their field. Readers keep issues for long periods of time in order to absorb the material.

During our intake, we learned that the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing was most often referred to as “CJON,” a quick alternative handle. We recommended exploring a name change as part of the redesign. By changing the name to CJON, there would be a direct connection to the online version,, and this would allow the society to be more strategic in its print/digital plan. In contrast, Oncology Nursing Forum was a research publication that needed to retain its formal name.

We eliminated the use of stock imagery in both publications and let elegant typography take center stage. The font palette we selected included bold yet friendly fonts for the display and a highly legible font for the body copy to increase text readability. The overall result are publications that are inviting and comfortable to read. All of the fonts were selected from Adobe Typekit, which allowed ONS to utilize them with no additional line item on their budget.

With the removal of imagery from the publication, we recommended that ONS use their entire art budget to commission an illustrator for the cover. Each cover of CJON has a unique illustration to highlight a featured article, making the journal feel fresh and different from issue to issue. For Oncology Nursing Forum, an illustrator is commissioned to create abstract artwork based on research images for all six covers of the year. The ultimate result is two fresh publications, each with a long shelf life, that readers want to show off, dive into, and share with their colleagues.

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