Publication Design for Cache Valley Family Magazine
I’m a big fan of logic puzzles and Sudoku. To me, there is nothing more satisfying than solving the mystery of what goes where, and that passion lends itself really nicely to my ability to piece together and organize all the content for a big publication. Whether the content includes photos, ads, infographics, or just copy/articles, I love finding spaces for everything and getting it all to fit together cohesively.
Emily has run the Cache Valley Family Magazine for over five years. I’ve been working with her to some degree for the past five years, starting with simple design projects, moving into designing spreads at a time, and then moving on to designing and laying out the entire magazine as well as providing virtual assisting services. A year ago, I worked with Emily to completely overhaul the design of the magazine to a new style that is attractive and modern to appeal to a diverse audience.
organizing the content
For each of the five issues a year, my process is the same. After Emily and team deliver all the content for the magazine (articles, images, and ads), I spend a couple of hours doing a rough layout of the magazine on a spreadsheet. I take what I know about each type of article, each ad, and all the “rules” (like these ads go together or this article needs a half-page ad on its spread) and piece together the puzzle that is each magazine issue.
laying out articles
Once I make sure I’ve got space for all the different elements we need to include, I start on the design. I start with whatever content is available to me first and just work my way through each spread, in no particular order. It helps me in the process to know that certain articles don’t get ads, or certain spaces of the magazine are reserved for recurring content like a spread with education articles from the two local school districts and a space towards the front of the magazine for the Kids Test Kitchen article and accompanying full-page ad.
I develop templates or special styles for some of the recurring content so that it’s visually cohesive with the rest of the magazine, but also stands out as a recurring piece. Once all the pieces are designed, I send a final draft to Emily and she and her team proofread and offer feedback and final edits, and then I take care of uploading the final version of the magazine to the printer’s website.
I’ve worked with Emily for so long that we’ve got this process down to a science. We’re in a really great groove with this magazine, and the design process is nothing but fun each time I get to work out the puzzle of what goes where, and then make it all look pretty and ready to share online and in print!