Between Fall 2020 and Spring 2023, I was the exclusive designer for The Purple & White, the Iowa Wesleyan University Alumni Magazine. After I received approved written content, I developed layouts, selected photos, or created graphics to supplement each article. Any increase over 32 pages would break budget; it was my challenge to design layouts within those set pages in a way that was highly readable and engaging.
I am inspired by the design of GQ and Cook’s Illustrated, honoring strong photography and typography to create a feeling or rouse a reader’s curiosity. That inspiration prompted an extensive redesign of the existing magazine structure. More white space, more emphasis on art and photography, and a narrower six-to eight-column layout helped bring a fresh, contemporary appearance and an easier reader experience.
While I made extensive changes to the original, I also feel that consistency in style is important for a publication designed to connect its audience to an institution. The Purple & White has a history almost as long as its 181-year-old institution. I wanted the magazine to feel familiar over time, and for alumni who receive it to connect it with the sense of ‘home’ that underpins their experience at Iowa Wesleyan.
I put together five issues of the magazine, four of which were published. In addition to layout, I contributed a few articles to The Purple & White over time: Lessons & Carols Moves Online for 2020 (Fall 2020, pg 24), and J.D. Schimmelpfennig ’63: The Definition of a Mentor (Summer 2021, pp. 13-14)
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