Refresh or Redesign?

Roanoke College

Refresh or Redesign?

Does your magazine need a refresh or a redesign? Why and when should you redesign? How much will it cost? These are three questions we often hear from editors looking to update their magazines. The answer to each is related and unique to the institution or association. For Roanoke College, their answer was “refresh.” The College had recently redesigned its institution’s brand identity and Editor, Lindsey Nair, wanted to integrate the new identity into their magazine while ensuring an editorial approach.

Lindsey knew that she didn’t want a complete redesign but instead wanted to refresh the existing publication, keeping the existing page count and format. But it was time to revisit the editorial plan along with updating the visual direction to align with the new identity. Our strategic partner, Laura Cole, conducted a critique of the magazine including “10 Takeaways” to improve the magazine. From there she developed an editorial plan that included nomenclature unique to Roanoke.

Previously, the design utilized standard nomenclature and a color palette that wasn’t unique to Roanoke

As always, the editorial plan along with the school’s identity guidelines informed the design direction of the refresh. The three main colors in the palette were used to define the sections of the magazine, badges were created to define recurring sections, and the rolling hills defined the flow of content.

The result was a refreshed magazine that included illustrated covers and a distinct sense of place through campus photography and brand elements which elevated the magazine while creating flexibility in the design.

An illustrated approach for the covers created unity while maintaining a consistent high level of quality.
Cover Comp Illustrations Courtesy of Rapp | Artist’s Sean McCabe & John Jay Cabuay
The college’s rolling hill landscape informed the design direction for the contents spread.
We believe it is important to implement the identity guidelines while ensuring an editorial approach.

The final deliverables included a comprehensive style guide and templates and style guide ensuring that the refresh could be maintained by the magazine’s freelance designer.

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