Redesigning VOICE: Kandace Selnick

VOICE-FALL-COVER1
VOICE-FALL-COVER1

Kandace Selnick is a print and media graphic designer based in Los Angeles. She is also an Elvis enthusiast, a music junkie and a coffee cup collector. Currently Kandace is a staff designer for VOICE Magazine, the official publication of the University of La Verne.

kandace
kandace

It has a circulation of 60,000 alumni worldwide. Last year, the Office of Strategic Communications sought out to redesign VOICE Magazine. It had been nearly a decade since the last overhaul and the team was charged to take on the challenge.

What was your role in the redesign?

The VOICE Magazine consists of a staff of 11 full-time employees and also calls for the assistance of part-time and contract help as well. Most staff perform multiple duties. We have an art director and graphic designer that make up the creative team. We also have a web team who puts the magazine online.

Since there was only two of us in creative, I was really able to be involved with the whole process of the redesign including layout, color palette, typography, and photography choices. I worked closely with the creative director in creating the magazine template’s grid and information system.

For the first issue, I worked on the feature spread with Ross Mathews and really wanted the tone of the type to be big and bold expressing his personality, while at the same time making a bold statement for the relaunch of the magazine. This spread and magazine won awards at the CASE District VII Awards, which was a huge accomplishment since it was my first feature and magazine that I worked on.

Close up of the Ross Mathews spread.
Close up of the Ross Mathews spread.
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VOICE-FALL-ROSSMATHEWS2

What typographic and design decisions did you make to address the target audience?

Gotham and HTF Didot were chosen to express a modern and contemporary look and feel, while still capturing a traditional undertone. We chose a clean, fresh, contemporary sans serif typeface that would update our look and speak to a growing younger audience. HTF Didot was selected as our serif typeface because of it’s ability to exude classical elegance while still having a modern edge to it. We also decided to have less copy with more dynamic imagery and bold opening spreads to make the magazine more readable and captivating for the audience.

Since the launch of the redesign we have received positive feedback from our constituents, from the executive level to our student population. So far, we have received four CASE District VII Awards for design and one gold for the 30th Annual Educational Advertising Awards. We want to continue to keep moving forward and improving. Our goal is always to make each issue better than the last one.

TypeEd helped me a lot in using the grid to structure each layout and typeset large bodies of copy in multiple columns. I learned how to properly set master pages, character and paragraph styles to more effectively lay out a large, multipage publication. I have become more aware of the details of layout and composition and become much more efficient in my workflow and have a system that I use when I start a layout.

Rising Stars article in the Spring edition of VOICE.
Rising Stars article in the Spring edition of VOICE.

The workshops really showed me how to look and assess layout and typography with a fine comb and pay attention to the small details. They showed me how important the reader is and how everything from rivers within body copy to how many words are in a column really effect their experience when looking through a publication. I was able to take what I learned and apply it not just for the magazine, but in my designs overall. Taking the time to typeset and work with a grid is very important for your design and the viewer.

How did you personally feel about this redesign? Any personal points of view?

It was really beneficial to be apart of the redesign from the very beginning. I had no previous background in designing for magazines or publications so it was a great experience. Being part of it really pushed me as a designer. I learned a lot about what it takes to put together a whole publication and strategically plan every issue and article. I push myself on every issue to take my designs to the next level and to keep refining the type in the magazine. It is really fun to concept and visually story-tell the articles in a unique way that really draw readers in.

University of La Verne VOICE Magazine Winter edition.
University of La Verne VOICE Magazine Winter edition.