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Shane Shanks


Magazine redesigns: finding the right scale

February 15, 2016   //   Shane Shanks

Lately we’ve been contacted about all types of magazine redesign projects. Zehno can scale its magazine process to the needs and budgets of most schools. But there’s a recurring question: Do we need a full prototype?

The answer: It’s complicated.

If you’re thinking about a redesign — regardless of whether you’re hiring an outside firm or handling it in-house — here are some options to consider.

Full prototype

This is your best option, if you’re serious about really overhauling your magazine.

Building a prototype, coupled with clear understanding about what you want readers to do, keeps the focus on the stories you should be telling (rather than the stories that are already in the queue). Building a full prototype means that you spend concentrated time planning out the most effective way to utilize every page. Once this mock magazine is finalized, you’re ready to populate the templates with real content for your premiere issue.

Partial prototype

If you have a tighter timeframe and/or a smaller budget, think about a partial prototype. Choose five or six page types and create them as models, in the same way you’d develop a full prototype. Once the prototype pages are perfected, build out your first issue. Details on other pages can be worked out as they pop up.

But don’t let your attention sway from your overall strategy. And don’t get in such a hurry that you accidentally rebuild your current magazine!

Mood boards with coaching

Maybe you’ve got an experienced magazine staff that just needs some fresh thinking and outside expertise. A coaching engagement that includes strategic assessment, goal setting, creative idea exchanges and mood boards might be a smart solution. Working with the staff at the University of South Carolina, Zehno became the satellite branch of the internal team.

Learn more

What scale of redesign do you need? Learn more about our magazine services.

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