You May Have Noticed

For the past six months, we’ve had an Emerald Coast Magazine redesign in the Rowland Publishing incubator. It’s been five years since we overhauled the look, feel and content of the magazine and, in today’s world of publishing, five years is a long time.

Effective with this issue, we present to you a new Emerald Coast Magazine featuring an enlarged page size, a new texture to the cover, a thoroughly refreshed design and, most significantly, a new editorial approach.

I devote my lunch hours to reading city magazines from around the country while keeping an eye out for trends and techniques that the average reader might not detect or appreciate. It might be something as simple as the way in which a photo is cropped or typeface choices. Or, I may take note of story subjects or the overall manner in which a given magazine showcases its community through words and images.

For the past year, I have systematically collected tear sheets from magazines as a way of stockpiling ideas for the Emerald Coast redesign. I then turned Rowland Publishing’s creative and editorial teams loose on incorporating these best-of-the-best ideas into the redesigned magazine that you are reading today.

We have opted for more stories of shorter length and bolder images. And we have given our words and pictures more breathing room in our layouts. Attention spans are short these days and distractions are many. It serves us well, then, to try to convey more information with fewer words and to encourage our writers to make every word count.

The creative team was challenged to bring about a harmonious marriage between words and design elements such that each story is treated like an entree deserving of an exquisite presentation. Doing so requires a special skill set. Our two seasoned publication designers, Jennifer Ekrut and Saige Roberts, possess the creative brainpower and artistic sensibilities that led to the new experience in reading you are enjoying today.

Our creative director, Larry Davidson, adds the final brush strokes to the hundreds of pages we deliver to you each year. It’s hard to express in words precisely what he does, but the result is that he makes sure the steak sizzles. He studies every page, image and ad to make sure that when you turn our pages, you are drawn into the presentations you see.

Our editorial team — editors, staff writers, freelance contributors and interns under the direction of our director of editorial services, Steve Bornhoft — combine to bring personalities, events and communities to light and to life. Editors scrub every sentence for accuracy and proper syntax, usage and spelling.

Funny thing about the proofing process. Five sets of eyes may critically read a story and every reader may catch something that needs fixing. Still, it may not be until an issue is delivered that we notice an extra comma or a missing word. “How did we miss that?” we ask ourselves, while trying to remain mindful that we don’t miss many.

I hope you enjoy the redesign and I welcome your comments about it, positive or not so positive. Over the next couple of issues, I can assure you, we will be refining the look and approach we embarked upon in this issue of Emerald Coast Magazine.

And, most especially, I want to thank our advertisers and loyal readers. Without you, we would be an empty shelf.   

Categories: Opinion