Publication Concept and Development

With the customer’s goals in mind, Rowland’s creative team can conceptualize and develop a high-impact publication with an emphasis on brand consistency.

Building a Concept from Your Vision

Anytime we’re approached by somebody to create a new publication, we start things off with a fact-finding conversation. This is the beginning of a process that has quite a few steps, phases, stages, parts — you get the picture. Step one, ultimately, is listening. We build trust by listening to prospective clients in order to obtain as much information as we can about their project needs. We ask a TON of questions along the way to make sure we truly understand the vision they have for their publishing project. Publications can vary tremendously in size and complexity, so actively listening to our client allows us to provide a much more customized solution. The remaining steps depend on the overall vision for the project but generally include some or all of the following.

Clients With Existing Branding Guidelines

We often work with clients that have a strong sense of brand identity already in place for their business. Our team of publishing professionals will ensure all aspects of the publication work we do maintains those brand standards from cover-to-cover. We understand the power of branding and the importance of continuity across a wide variety of business marketing tools. From business cards and letterhead to pull-up banners, websites, corporate signage and yes, even custom publications, your branding is an extension of who you are as a company. We will make sure the publication we create with you keeps your brand standards front and center.

Developing a Nameplate

When working on a brand new publication, one of the very first steps is the creation of a unique nameplate (think of the large type across the top of the cover of popular magazines, such as “Vanity Fair” or “Rolling Stone”). Coming up with a memorable nameplate can take a bit of research and plenty of conversations with our client about what makes their business or company unique. After all, the nameplate is what readers will likely remember most about their first impression of the new publication.

Choosing the Right Fonts and Color Palette

During the concepting phase of working with a client to create a new publication, we put together design comps showcasing various font combinations and color palettes based on all the conversations we’ve had with our client. Our talented publication designers often sort through thousands of fonts to choose just the right combinations to bring out the specific look and feel we’ve been challenged to create. They also pair those font combinations with color palettes that enhance the look and feel and provide continuity to the entire piece.

Creating the Publication Flatplan

One of the first steps of getting a new publication set up for success is to create a working flatplan. This helps both Rowland Publishing and the client account for how all space will be used throughout the publication. Breaking down the publication into specific sections helps keep content grouped by subject or theme and is crucial in creating a visual rhythm that keeps readers engaged. It can sometimes be difficult to articulate for those not well-versed in the subtleties of publication design, but there needs to be a good flow to the publication. Oftentimes, readers don’t even know there’s been a lot of hard work put into where certain things are placed throughout the pages of a magazine. It just feels right as they turn from page to page. That’s the level of detail we obsess over as we’re planning it all out.

Designing Comps for Approval

Although designing some sample layouts generally happens while narrowing down the fonts and color palettes, it’s a crucial step of the overall process that deserves a little bigger explanation. It truly helps lock in the path forward for any new publication project. We take the feedback we get during each phase of the development process and begin synthesizing some working design comps of different sections of the publication for review — maybe a sample table of contents, a feature story, and a few one-page layouts that contain unique content types within the publication. The results of this process allow our teams to effectively evaluate the work as it moves forward on the creative assembly line. This is where the careful, studied approach to publication design begins to yield magical results. As image and type begin coming together, the publication takes shape and we are then ready to begin placing real content on the pages. Before long, a first proof is on the way over for review, and it’s one step closer to the finish line.

Do you need help with a custom publishing project?

Contact us today to learn how Rowland Publishing can help make your upcoming project a success.
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