It was about this time last year that we started scoping out the possibility for a redesigned Connections Newsletter. It would be days before we had buy-in and necessary approvals, weeks before we had the name ECHOES arrive on the scene in a creative burst, and months before the first issue would be mailed to constituents, but we wrote our assumptions and added some early sketches of the would-be newsletter, and saved them in a missive which I happened to look at earlier today.
Here’s what we were imagining:
That main feature didn’t pan out, but the rest of the edition came together very much like we had envisioned. Here were our wonky, production-speak Key Assumptions:
• Frequency: Semi-Annually or Every Four Months
• Inks: 4CP, full-bleed, vertical format probably inline acqueous coating
• Paper: uncoated, use HEBFF brand standards.
• Bindery: Saddle-stitched, 2 brads
• Page size: has not yet been determined, but will probably adhere to existing size or similar.
• Page count: 20 pages, self-cover. Each program to receive same amount of page real estate.
• Photography: Follows HEBFF Brand stds. Photo credit will be given, but collected into a colophon with the masthead
• Coverlines: Front Cover. Typically three per issue; obviates the need for a Table of Contents.
• Narrative Voice: Other than president’s column, we will continue to cultivate a single narrative voice (‘the voice of HEBFF”). For example, an article about a given program would not be told by that program lead, but rather as either an interview or feature about that subject. As a general rule, normal stories are not bylined, but rather Connections staff contributions are mentioned in a colophon / masthead.
• Layout: Hybrid 12-column ‘progressive margin’ pages, typically resolving in 2- or 3-column articles, but allowing for more complex grid-based photo layouts.
• Margins & Folio: Progressive margins with page folios and page numbers at the bottom.
• Design: Follows HEBFF Brand stds. Much more white space than previous iteration. Issue One will require more time resources than usual in order to perform typography / readability tests, create sample proofs, call for RPFs, work with new printer for first issue, and to codify newsletter-specific brand standards for future production artist and/or designers.
• Workflow, timeline, Process map: We are working on articulating a flow that echoes previous, similar publications.
Areas of Emphasis:
A few months later, we had several rounds of typographic tests under our belt, we had the ECHOES name solidified, and it was time to dream about the cover. Here’s a screen-grab of what those early front covers looked like in Photoshop:
One year later, we’re gearing up for the second volume of ECHOES. We have a list of stories we’re dying to tell about HEBFF programs and other parts of the organization, too, like Property Planning & Stewardship and CRM. Year two kicks off in January.