Enhancing the Consumer Experience
A well-designed corporate magazine can do wonders for a brand, in addition to other communication tools
There was a time when the only way a company could hope to talk directly with people was through advertising or public relations. This created a degree of distance between companies and their clients, which required big campaigns from the former to establish a connect. That opened the door for corporate magazines, whose growth is possibly the most compelling example of editorially-driven corporate communication.
A corporate magazine is a medium for building relationships and maintaining regular contact with customers and prospects. Besides, it is an extension of the brand and a reflection of its ideologies and attributes. What thus becomes critical, other than relevant content, is designing the magazine in a specific manner to reflect the ethos of the brand.
Prerequisites for good corporate magazine design
A precise definition of design is hard. Ideally, design encompasses not just graphic design but design strategy too. Designing a corporate magazine can be a tricky business, and certain tips and tricks are handy in this endeavour.
Usage of brand colours
A graphic designer needs to be careful when designing the visual identity of a large corporation. The corporate colour scheme that the designer chooses, makes a strong statement about the organisation and how it works. The colours should emphasise the philosophy and strategy of the corporation.
Typography refers to selection of fonts. A well-proportioned, clean font can make all the difference for a corporate magazine. Equally important here is maintaining consistency throughout the magazine.
Usage of infographics
Content can be used in an infinite number of combinations to analyse, explain and ignite passion in the reader; mere text, though, is often something the reader chooses to skip. This is where infographics come in. As a visual representation of information or data (e.g. a chart or diagram), an infographic is possibly worth a thousand words, as it is attractive and analytics-friendly.
A unique but maintainable cover
Good branding requires uniformity, so you do not want to create a cover style for your first issue that you cannot maintain for subsequent issues of the magazine. A splashy cover for the first issue (as compared to other issues) is fine, but for the audience, one glance at any issue of the magazine should be enough to identify it as your publication. Watch the fonts, call-outs, paper quality and other details very closely.
Colour corrections and effects
No good designer would send a magazine into print without final colour corrections of every photograph incorporated in the magazine. This is essential if the colours are to appear the same on the computer screen and on the actual paper magazine. Adding effects also enhances the visual appeal manifold.
Test your ideas
Finally, get focus groups together to test out your content and design ideas. Be viciously honest with yourself and your team – you need to know what your audience wants and what they are bored of. Take all of these answers seriously, use them to make edits, and test again. You may not please everyone, but you need to please enough people to make your magazine a success.