OPB Magazine was a monthly iPad publication that told stories of the northwest while exploring possibilities of a new medium.
The goal of the magazine was to get the OPB audience to explore and discovery new OPB content, interact with the OPB brand, and walk away wanting more.
To accomplish this, I worked closely with OPB editors, journalist and the digital product team to:
- Design a visual brand — typography, grid system, color palette, etc. — that aligned with the established OPB brand.
- Create an editorial content plan that ensured each issue would have current and compelling OPB content.
- Plan an editorial calendar that set deadlines of when I would need magazine content pitched and approved.
- Keep a tight production calendar so I could place, design, develop and launch each monthly issue on time.
All in all, I published 18 issues, won an award in innovation, and built an audience of thousands committed OPB Magazine readers, where the average reader spent over an hour with each issue.
In The Press
“The Newsonomics of the shiny, new wrapper” – NiemanLab
SPJ Innovation Award
The magazine’s design took a second seat to the story. Creating a magazine that intentionally creates a mood or feeling would be against fundamental journalistic values. Therefore, I created a neutral visual brand that allowed the content to speak for itself. I would display the story and media simply, so the reader can focus on the content and without being distracted by its presentation.
For the digital magazine, I organized stories into three sections: Perspective, Exploration, and Features. Perspective featured stories focused on a person, time, or place. Here the reader would find profiles, photo essays, and historical pieces. Exploration was a section to inspire creativity and discovery. This section was filled with stories on creating music, food, and art, but also discovering new books, events, and people. The section Features is a collection of long-form thoughtful pieces covering big topics affecting people in the region.
Each story, no matter the section, would have interactive content. This could be video, audio, slideshows, or animated graphics that present the content in a simple and engaging way. There were calls to download OPB apps, add show schedules to their iCal, and link out to the web if they want more. Because the magazine was created for the iPad, it was important to have an interactive experience. This is what the audience expected of digital magazines at the time. But it also was important to create an easy reading experience and not to make a story overwhelming.