When Bob Swientek came on board at the Institute of Food Technologists to be the editor of Food Technology, he realized the magazine lacked energy. Page after page, the editorial content appeared in large grey blobs, lacking any type of point of entry or bold images to engage readers in the magazine’s editorial.
"The editors didn’t look at it from a visual point of view when they were putting their articles together," says Swientek. "They laid the articles out around the idea of getting the copy, flowing it in and seeing how many images they needed based on number of pages."
Swientek decided to go with an outside agency to guide the drastic redesign he had in mind. He sent RFPs to seven different design firms and selected Silver Spring, Maryland-based Bates Creative Group for the redesign. "Every organization I’ve worked for usually does redesigns internally," says Swientek. "But you don’t have a very good perspective in terms of people who have an expertise in that field. We brought in experts and what we ended up with was well worth it."
The magazine feature well underwent major changes with the new format devoting an entire page to an image in the opening spread. The designer now recreates charts and graphs from outside sources, rather than inserting them as they are, making for better resolution and imagery. "[The magazine] had great content, but it wasn’t contemporary," says Swientek. "We needed more entry points, sidebars, bullets, and pull quotes. The information needed to be displayed in a hierarchy so that the reader would stop and read."
BCG continues to design the magazine’s three feature stories each month, as well as the cover, which now includes a new logo and tagline. The logo features a more contemporary font in all lower case letters. BCG placed the word "food" in a color box to differentiate it from the word "technology." The issue date is displayed in numerals, rather than words, for a contemporary spin. "Food Technology is a very long name," says Swientek. "The lower case font is somewhat reminiscent of the periodic table. It gives it a little scientific and technical edge."
The tagline transformed from "A Publication of the Institute of Food Technology" to "Advancing Food and Health Through Sound Science." "It recognizes the growing trend of consumers viewing food as part over their overall well-being," says Swientek.
Reader and advertiser response has been positive, and ad pages have increased slightly since the redesign. "The ad community has always known the magazine was credible, but people may have thought we were kind of stodgy," says Swientek. "The redesign has even changed some advertisers’ views of the organization as a whole."
Name: Food Technology
Owner: Institute of Food Technologists
The dilemma: The pages of the magazine were dated and lacked entry points to get readers to engage in the articles.
What they did: Hired an outside design firm and incorporated more entry points, such as larger images, charts and graphs and also revamped the magazine logo.