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.
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. One scouting photo made it into the first issue and became the inspiration for a new column.
Working with consultant Erin Peterson, Rachel continues to explore creative feature writing. Stories have included: “The Project That Changes Everything,” a visually rich story including campus photography and illustrations by a commissioned artist; “A Crash Course: The Kent Place Strategic Plan,” a digestible four page synopsis of the school’s plan; “What I Learned During the Pandemic,” an engaging story focused on the community members and how they persevered; and “How to Be Well,” highlights of one of the school’s strategic priorities and how alumni can incorporate some of the lessons into their own day.
The school’s focus on Brave and Brilliant Girls is embodied on every cover through school imagery and commissioned illustration and photography.
Recognition: InspirED Brilliance Award: Gold, Printed Magazine; InspirED Brilliance Award: Silver, Magazine Feature Article Design; InspirED Brilliance Award: Bronze, Magazine Cover Design