Art Direction & Strategy for a regional Creative Arts Magazine
When the magazine's founder, Sara, and I began our collaboration, we sat down to discuss the goals of the business as Art Move was preparing for its third issue. We identified five goals:
Researching what readers wanted was critical to our success. It's simple to select content using personal preference, but discovering what your customer wants is a much more involved process. We canvased readers from our desired demographic, and identified 4 categories:
The concept for Art Move's logo was to represent a window to, or a frame surrounding, a medium. It was also important that it be compact and scalable.
We found inspiration for the art direction in layouts of covers as well as individual editorials from some of the best designers in the industry. The goal was to be edgy while maintaining a direction which can accommodate a wide variety of mediums.
Raygun was very appealing because of the boundries they pushed. Wired as a rule of them has a very viral IA structure with strong visuals. InDesign is very industrial which appealed to our overall visual structure.
— My first magazine for Art Move as part of the team. My contribution was establishing information hierarchy, typography usage, and build a visual philosophy which we could use going forward.
— Carrying on with the visual hierarchy from issue three Sara and I created sections in this issue, advertisements, and a table of content.
— For my third issue, we had established the core of what Art Move would be going forward. Feeling a bit more adventurous I started experimenting with new layouts.
— Sara and I were now talking to artists across Nebraska and regularly visiting galleries. While meeting new people, we found a local artist who had been published in several comic books and gave him the chance to create a cover for issue six.
— We were always experimenting with ways to help promote the artists we featured in the magazine. This round we included QR codes which lead to an artists website.
Since beginning my partnership with Sara Kovanda, Founder of ArtMove Magazine, we have increased readership tenfold by creating a unified design theme, reader-focused layout changes, and a concerted distribution effort. With every issue since Issue 3, the distribution has increased by 25%. With the publication of Issue 4 at the end of 2014 we were honored the Nebraska Art History Award.
Distribution has increased steadily, and we are now in over 75 retail locations in and around both Lincoln, Omaha, and Kearney Nebraska. Our advertising program has also gained traction, and we are now being approached independently by businesses who would like to advertise in our upcoming issues.