Re-imagining the Independent School Magazine

Winsor School Magazine

Re-imagining the Independent School Magazine

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) conducted a survey with the readers of more than 250 alumni magazines. The survey showed that 86 percent of respondents say their institution’s magazine strengthens their personal connection to the institution. Even more telling, the survey found that the longer a reader spends with the magazine—the longer it holds their interest—the more likely they are to engage with, volunteer for, and donate to the school. We took note.

The Winsor School is a prestigious all-girls school in Brookline, Massachusetts. Nestled in one city block, Winsor’s urban location was essential to its founder, a progressive educator who prepared young city women to become confident and self-supporting citizens. Today, Winsor’s location, history, and mission continue to be the framework of its empowering education. 2communiqué was honored to be chosen for the school’s magazine redesign. 

As we began the project, we knew it would be integral to incorporate these essential elements of Winsor as they resonate so strongly with its students and alumnae. Influenced by the priority the school places on strong writing skills in its curriculum, we knew readers would respond to a more literary approach. With only three fonts, including utilizing Hoefler as the body copy, an understated palette was chosen to elicit a booklike feeling from the publication design. 

According to a CASE survey 86 percent of respondents say their institution’s magazine strengthens their personal connection to the school.
The cover story designs are made to feel like mini posters, engaging the reader to open the magazine. Illustration by Celyn

One of the biggest shifts of the redesign was the approach to the cover. While it is arguably the most important aspect of a magazine, many times the cover is the last thing considered. To avoid this pitfall, we started the redesign process with a cover discussion at the kick-off meeting. Final directions explored a range of styles including typography, illustration, and photography, each one embodying the confidence of Winsor. 

Winsor sp18 FOB ship2
Alumnae returning to campus kick off the “Alumnae News.”

A nod to the school’s location, the redesign kept the aptly named section “From Pilgrim Road,” and content was restructured to include articles that were campus-focused. A spread of photographs featuring alumnae returning to campus showcases graduates’ continued engagement with the school.

From empowering editorial to compelling imagery, every issue of the redesigned Winsor magazine connects with its readers and keeps them engaged with the community. 

Winsor sp18 Coverstory ship

Recognition: AM+P Gold Excel Award for Redesign; UCDA Award of Excellence

Related Projects