The last intro assignment lasted two days. Companies came to school to ask us to work on something for them.
I was in a group that worked for De Groene Amsterdammer. They wanted to reach more people without changing their current name, content and pretty much anything…
DGA is news magazine with big blocks of text. Images are rare and often only complimentary to the text instead of being at the same level. Their articles are their pride.
When we compared the current look of the magazine to their competitors, it immediately struck us as ‘one in a bunch’. It didn’t stand out at all. They all looked pretty much the same and all used the colour red.
We had asked why they use red, since their name is The Green (Groene) Amsterdammer. They said that red had been scientifically proven to attract attention. Sure, but not if it’s surrounded by more red…
What we did is rip off the front page to get to the inside of the magazine. The first thing we came across was the table of contents. We tried to make that work as a new cover but it was still too busy. As a reader, your attention wasn’t directed, you have no idea where you’re supposed to look. The effect is that you look everywhere at once and don’t see anything as a result.
What stood out was the quote the magazine always put next to the table of contents. So instead of making the table of contents the new cover, we brought out the quote and made it their centerpiece. We added a green diagonal plane to differ the magazine from their competitors, add some dynamics and refer to the brand name and history. We brought out the content they were really proud of. The new cover promises what DGA delivers, text.
One of the questions that came up was: ‘why make the name so small and push it to the background?’
That’s not what we feel we did. We didn’t push the name away, we brought out the content to deliver what is truly inside. Secondly, the people DGA wants to attract are people that are clever and inquisitive. If they are interested and want to know more about the magazine, there’s no doubt they’ll find the information they need, even if it’s a bit smaller than usual.