Spring is the season to dust off bookcases, clear cobwebs from the mind – and redesign magazines. By this time, you will have noticed the University of Toronto Magazine‘s bright, bold new look by art director Shelley Frayer of James Ireland Design Inc. (how could you miss it?). At first glance you may even have thought that this publication was too hip for the school that Bishop Strachan built.
But times change, and so do magazines. This special issue devoted to alumni 40 and under was the perfect opportunity to freshen our look. The graphics and typefaces are contemporary and unapologetically direct, and we have added a glossy cover.
Appearances aren’t everything, however. Inside, we have maintained our usual dedication to quality writing. We have added a page to Leading Edge, the research updates that are one of the favourite sections of alumni, and we have revamped the campus and alumni notes sections at the front and back of the book to give them a greater presence. What’s more, we will continue to produce in-depth articles by award-winning writers and will also include more (and shorter) alumni profiles.
The University of Toronto Magazine is not the only university publication that has undergone a metamorphosis at the skilful hands of the team at James Ireland Design Inc. Our type styles and colours were first introduced to university publications in 1997 as part of the Great Minds for a Great Future campaign conceived by U of T’s public relations director Susan Bloch-Nevitte. You have seen the same corporate style (or, to use the buzzword – branding) in U of T’s National Report, Campaign Quarterly, Borderlines newsletter, Edge, the university’s tabloid on research and innovation, and the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering’s skulematters.
“For the branding of the campaign and U of T, we decided to keep the look simple and flexible. Two typefaces (gills sans and garamond) and a limited colour palette were chosen to keep consistency within the branding,” says Jim Ireland, president of James Ireland Design Inc.
“When we started, we had to look upon U of T as a nation unto itself, with the colleges and faculties as city states,” he says. “To give each college and faculty autonomy and still work within the university’s overall look was not an easy task, but we think we have achieved a dynamic result, which is reflected beautifully in the redesign of the magazine.”