The new News from Hope College

Two words spread quickly through the Public Affairs and Marketing Division last Friday morning:

“It’s here!”

We were holding in our hands the hot-off-the-presses, newly redesigned News From Hope College. If you know the Public Affairs and Marketing team, you know we like to celebrate. Last Friday, we were feeling especially celebratory as we paged through both the print version and the web version of Hope’s flagship magazine.

Admittedly, we were feeling a little tired, too. As with any design overhaul, the process was a long one. Well over a year ago, we collectively agreed that News From Hope College needed an update. It had been almost a decade since the last redesign, and feedback from an alumni survey indicated that our readers were eager for some changes.

Four individuals took the initiative to lead the redesign:

  • Greg Olgers, who kept us firmly rooted in Hope’s tradition of excellence. Greg, the longtime editor of News From Hope College, has provided steady leadership on the magazine for decades.
  • Samantha Bruin, who inspired us with her creative vision and can-do attitude. Sam eagerly raised her hand for this project and kept us energized, even when the process felt like a marathon.
  • Rebecca Robrahn, who challenged us to consider the new and the different. An enthusiastic champion of the redesign from the start, Rebecca sparked thinking on new possibilities throughout the magazine.
  • Derek Emerson, who quietly offered perspective, posed questions and provided critique —right when we needed it. A writer at heart, Derek understands the interplay between text and image.

In the final weeks before going to print, the intensity of this project increased, and Greg, Samantha, Rebecca and Derek put in some serious man- and woman-power to make sure our end product would be stellar. I suspect they’re all ready for a long winter’s nap.

So what kind of changes will you be seeing in News From Hope College? In his article, Greg explains the changes we’ve made to, which include:

  • Different size (yes, it travels well!)
  • Larger photos
  • A new look for the regular sections of the magazine, and a tailored design for each of the features
  • Better quality paper — sustainable as well as more affordable! (My favorite description of the cover texture: “buttery”)

I am a “print person” through and through. While I consume most of my news online, I still relish the opportunity to page through a magazine over a cup of coffee. It feels like a luxury, feeling the tooth of the paper, immersing myself in the text, swooning over the photos, dog-earing the pages. Often, the web experience just doesn’t match the print experience.

In the case of the News From Hope College website, however, there is much to love and much to relish. It echoes many of the great features of the redesign — a sleek new look, bold use of photography, seamless user experience. Kudos to Craig Tommola and Jason Cash for going above and beyond to ensure this beautiful website was ready to launch the day the magazine hit mailboxes.

Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t express gratitude to Tom Renner, who laid the foundation for News From Hope College many years ago. Tom has been a faithful friend to Hope College and a cheerleader for the Public Affairs and Marketing team. We owe much to Tom!

What do you think of the new News From Hope College? Drop us a line and let us know.

It’s Time To Get Creative

Taking a look at initial creative concepts may be the most exciting checkpoint in the rebranding process to date. They are the visual representation of all that Hope is and all for which Hope stands.
 
This week we saw the first creative representations of our brand promise and brand attributes. EM2 presented two concepts: Fully Alive and Rare Combinations. Prior to showing their work, Chris Martin explained the creative process and even gave us an inside look at how the design process works at EM2’s headquarters in Atlanta:Lynn Donham prepared us for reviewing the creative concepts with the following admonition:

Still the critic.
Entertain the notion.
Consider the possibilities.

These statements proved to be extremely useful encouragement for keeping an open mind as we viewed these concepts for the first time. Here’s a look at Fully Alive and Rare Combinations:

Fully Alive

Rare Combinations

Following the presentation, the Integrated Marketing Cabinet considered each concept and recommended that EM2 proceed with Fully Alive. We felt the use of vibrant color, graphic text, overall look and feel were most consistent with the redefined Hope brand. The IMC liked the idea of Rare Combinations, and has asked EM2 to integrate some of those elements in the revision of Fully Alive.

— Submitted by Andrew Meyers, Assistant Director of Admissions