The making of a magazine

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The CEB tasked us with the job of reworking its quarterly magazine, Info, into a more eye-catching and readable piece that would better reflect its important work across Europe and engage with a wider audience. Our work on the magazine shows how two languages can work seamlessly in one publication.

Brief

The CEB is a Paris-based, multilateral development bank with a social mandate. It provides financing and technical expertise for high impact projects in its member states, promoting the integration of refugees and migrants, as well as sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

However, the design and approach of its in-house magazine, Info, wasn’t doing justice to the many interesting stories that the CEB had to tell. The magazine has an international audience and the existing magazine had the same article side by side in English and French, creating a disjointed and repetitive reading experience.

Solution

The CEB gave us free rein to address all aspects of Info’s design, structure and content. We recommended turning it into a 16 page ‘flip cover’ magazine, so the back cover became the second front cover when turned upside down. One cover and its successive pages were in English, while the flipped cover and its successive pages were in French. While this captured both languages in the same publication, it created a more seamless reading experience.

We also worked closely with the client to bring the content structure and editorial tone in line with a typical business magazine. We recommended news articles of different lengths plus a range of features and interviews and a theme for each issue. With content and design elements, such as typography, grids and colour palettes, agreed on, we set about designing the entire dual-language publication.

We’ve now been working on Info for 18 months and it’s been interesting to see how illustration has become a popular element of the publication. Initially illustrations were useful for plugging imagery gaps, but they have taken on a life of their own because they speak to the reader, whatever language they may speak. The illustrations also highlight the human stories behind the CEB’s work in a positive, upbeat way.

Jez’s illustrations are given full rein in each issue’s centre spread. This is where the English and French content meets, so each issue includes a bold, colourful and engaging infographic with bright illustrations. These pick out key points from the main themed articles and are complemented by short pieces of content in English and French.

As Europe experiences huge changes, the work and profile of the CEB continues to grow. We therefore felt it was time to give INFO a fresh new look that fully showcases our work and the benefits it is bringing to populations across Europe. We are really pleased with the magazine’s modern look and the use of infographics and photography. This is now a publication we are proud to share with our stakeholders.

Jelica Vesic, Communications Officer/Managing Editor of Info

Impact

The restructured and enhanced Info magazine now does full justice to the interesting, highly relevant and crucial work that the CEB does. The relaunched magazine is an informative high-end communication with stand-out appeal for English and French speakers and we look forward to continuing to work with the CEB into 2019 and beyond.

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