Magazine Design

Cover design   |   Photo illustrations   |   Editorial design   |    Publication redesign

The Gazette's Annual Broncos Magazine

The magazine is a preview of the Denver Broncos' season and publishes every August

My design process 
As Design Editor at The Gazette, I took the lead in directing the creative strategy on the cover illustration, typography, layout and other visuals in the 36-page magazine. Every year, the sports editor and I brainstorm on different overarching themes related to the Broncos' previous season performance and sports analysts' predictions of the season to come.

 

The 2017 magazine featured the theme, "Game of Thrones," an HBO show that had one of the highest viewership at the time.

 

Two staff designers and I collaborated and had several brainstorming meetings discussing how we would illustrate all of the content in the magazine. We also found a way to incorporate the "GOT" typography to match the theme. The pages seen here are just a few examples of how that typography was used. We all utilized PhotoShop's design tools to create all the illustrations. I also collaborated with a freelancer cartoonist, who digitally drew five full-page graphic art elements to add an extra storytelling component, which also aligned with our theme and staff written content. On the cover, we all agreed that Broncos' star player, linebacker Von Miller, had to lead the front of the book -- especially since was leading the NFL in sacks and forced fumbles. The ultimately mimicked one of the "GOT" preview posters. Adding the orange and blue to his eye, gave it that extra Broncos touch.

 

This was one of the most fun magazines I've had the opportunity to design.

 

Rebranding: Colorado Politics, Weekly Magazine

Colorado Politics, formerly The Colorado Statesman, debuted in June 2017 in print

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About the magazine
Colorado Politics, formerly The Colorado Statesman, is a 32-page weekly political news magazine published in Denver and owned by Clarity Media Group. Colorado Politics covers the Colorado General Assembly; state government; public policy issues; campaigns; elections; and the state's political parties.

Awards

  • Colorado Politics has won a cumulative of nearly 50 journalism awards in state competitions in just two years -- including First Place for Feature Design in the 2018 Colorado Press Association competition

My design process 
After great success with the launch of the Colorado Politics website and mobile app in 2016, executives at Clarity Media Group, The Gazette's parent company, decided to purchase The Colorado Statesman in 2017. After the acquisition of the 119-year-old newspaper was made, The Gazette's editor told me that he wanted me to take charge of the design and production.

 

The challenge, to redesign and rebrand Colorado's oldest publication within one week. Since I had very little time to design multiple prototypes for the executives and the editor to pour over, I had to come up with a quick solution that I could immediately implement. My ultimate goal was to turn the look of the old-style newspaper into a magazine. The page sizes are also a bit bigger than the typical magazine book. I revamped and redesigned the 32-page publication from front to back. On the cover, I wanted visuals to dominate. I quickly started creating illustrations to get readers engaged with the content. I also used a simple sans-serif font for the display type throughout the publication to establish design and branding consistency. I then utilized proper white space to create a cleaner design and to help improve overall readable for readers.    

 

The news executives and the editor were so impressed with the new look and overall design tone of their new weekly publication, they added my name to the staff masthead as Colorado Politics' Design Director. 

 

Since the launch, our team has grown and our coverage has expanded. And now we are an award-winning team. I still continue to manage the design, art direction, copy editing and production of the magazine every week.

Special Edition: The Broadmoor Magazine

The Gazette published a special edition magazine to commemorate The Broadmoor Hotel's 100th birthday in 2018

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About the magazine
The 36-page magazine commemorated The Broadmoor's 100th birthday in June 2018 as the only hotel in the country that has earned the Forbes five-star award for 58 straight years and AAA five-diamond status for 42 years. More than 200 celebrities, including U.S. presidents, have stayed at the prominent resort in Colorado Springs.

My design process 
Since The Broadmoor has been an iconic fixture in the Pikes Peak region since 1918, it was an honor to celebrate the hotel's history by leading the design on this special edition magazine. On the cover design, I collaborated heavily with The Gazette's marketing designer and photo director on the concept and the final look. We reached out to the Pikes Peak Library, dug into The Gazette's archives and sorted through hundreds of historic photos. It was so much fun to see old pictures of celebrities and U.S. presidents when they visited the hotel. As we were the process of editing the photos, I mentioned to my team how it felt like we were looking at a old picture reel of footage, then, the concept for the cover was born and implemented. Every page we designed in the magazine was sent to the editor and the publisher for final approve before it was shipped to the printers. The entire magazine was designed just under one week, since we were all managing other time-sensitive projects simultaneously.

The Gazette's Annual FYI Magazine

A newcomer's guide to the Pikes Peak region publishes every September

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About the magazine
FYI magazine is a guide to attractions and travel destinations for newcomers in the Pikes Peak region. The 36-page publication helps guide readers to learn about the history of Colorado Springs, while introducing them to hiking trails and other nearby mountainous locations.

My design process 
FYI is another fun magazine to design every year. It provides readers with a great mix of content from The Gazette's news and advertising departments, which means I get the opportunity to collaborate with departments outside of the newsroom. For the cover design, I worked closely with the photo director to select a striking image that represents the Pikes Peak region. Minimal text is on the cover to give the image more impact. I also worked closely with the special sections editor and advertising director to plan out the layout for the inside pages. I typically design the content in a listicle-style format to make it easier for readers to browse through quickly, as they're getting more familiar with the Colorado Springs area.

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© 2020 Design by Stephanie Swearngin

Based in Colorado Springs, Colorado