Feeling at home with Residence Magazine

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Posted by - Starbots Creative

We are now on the fifth edition of Residence Magazine, the student magazine of Keele University. In fact it just went to print a couple of weeks ago and its one of those jobs that I can’t wait to land on my desk each quarter. As a (fairly) recent graduate I love working on something that appeals to a younger audience, there’s a tad more creative freedom and a touch more ‘cool’ to add into the design which I love to do and it’s one of those problem solving jobs – here’s some text, work out where it goes and how to make each page have its own identity – who wouldn’t love that!

Keele University is a large well respected university in the Staffordshire area, with well over 10,000 students. The university spans over several departments including a Research Centre, Conferences and Events and of course the university itself.

Residence magazine is populated to the students, particularly those who live on campus and it’s aim is to entertain and inform the students about all the activities and events going on within the campus as well as offering guidance and support during their stay.

The design in previous years had been a very angular blocky design, and needed refreshing with more current design techniques. The marketing team knew they needed to update the design but it also had to fit with the Keele brand style which is used across all areas of Keele and also incorporate specific department brands and styles. Our challenge was making this branding work cohesively whilst moving the brand forward to fit with the brief given.

The magazine design needed to be audience led; if students were going to read the magazine then it would need to appeal to them, each page needed to look like it had it’s own character so as to keep the attention of busy students but by using illustration and colours from the secondary palette I was able to bring the magazine together and give some life to the articles. It is often the case for this design project that I don’t start off with all the information or articles so it means I have to be flexible, able to move the design around once its started to fit in addition pages and articles, but I work closely with the marketing executive to ensure the magazine is fit for purpose from her point of view.

The designs have been a great success and we have received great feedback from the marketing team and the magazine contributors.

The final printed copies received loads of positive feedback:

“Just wanted to let you know we received delivery of these yesterday and feedback has been AMAZING! Lots of people have commented on it from various departments across the university and the Head of Accommodation LOVES it. Thank you so much for all of your hard work on producing this! A big big success.” Laura Muller, Commercial Marketing Executive.

There’s nothing better than knowing is been a job well done and knowing the client has walked away with something they can be proud of and has expanded their brand and marketing potential, since starting this project in 2014 the magazine has been produced quarterly and we have since produced six magazines so far, each one receiving great feedback from the client.

Starbots strive to be different in the quality of our service and our designs. We have worked with Keele for three years now and know their brand well but are flexible to come up with new and inventive ways of using their brand so it never appears stale, a project like this really lets us get our creative juices going and being part of a team means that we can always work to tight deadlines and get the job done on time without compromising on the quality.