Tips for tackling redesigns

Photo by Thomas Drouault on Unsplash
Photo by Thomas Drouault on Unsplash

Four tips for B2B editors, designers to consider before planning a redesign.

By Jamie Winebrenner

A magazine redesign can be an exciting opportunity to put your stamp on an existing publication, but it shouldn’t be approached without careful thought. When paired with editorial content, your logos, colors and fonts communicate the brand and help to define the voice of your industry.

Whether you need to remain competitive in your market or you’re about to hit a milestone anniversary, here are some tips to consider when tackling a redesign.

A redesign doesn’t have to be a complete overhaul. A magazine redesign probably shouldn’t be a complete overhaul. Little tweaks can have just as much impact as a complete redesign without losing the brand recognition and equity that has already been established. A few tweaks could include logo refinements, color palette variations or different department or feature styles. This is also a great way to ease your readers, and your staff, into the process by making smaller changes over several issues instead of several larger changes all at once.

Time your redesign wisely. This is particularly important in the B2B publishing industry. Advertisers buy in to the existing structure—deviating too far could prove to be a costly mistake. For example, if your columnists draw in advertising, be sure not to redesign them into the corner. Consider launching a redesigned piece in tandem with the next round of media kits. Not only does this give advertisers time to get familiar with the new look and feel, but it can generate excitement and show your advertisers that you’re a great outlet for reaching their customers.

Redesign for a reason. Think about why you’d like to tackle a redesign before starting one. If you’re bored of the current look or you saw something you liked elsewhere and want to emulate it, you may want to hold off. Chasing trends can muddy your brand, confuse your readers and frustrate your staff. Having a clear reason such as redesigning for a milestone anniversary or to remain competitive in your industry can bring about a much more successful, and long-lasting result.

Work as a team. A redesign isn’t the sole responsibility of anyone on your staff. Yes, the designer may execute the redesign, but the collaboration and definition of vision should be a group effort. Set your goals and discuss overall appearance first before sending your designer off to do mockups. Having everyone on the same page will make the redesign process smoother, and it should also help to keep the process from drawing out too long.

A successful redesign elevates your brand, enhances communication with your audience and shows competitors that you’re a force to be reckoned with. With careful planning, and some research, the process can be smooth, efficient and maybe even fun!

Jamie Winebrenner is a freelance designer and marketing director at CropKing Inc.

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