To celebrate its 15th anniversary, Alberta Venture magazine has unveiled a top-to-bottom redesign.
When publisher Ruth Kelly bought the name and the mailing list and one issue’s worth of paper stock from the provincial government for $100 in 1996, the economic development department had been publishing it as a quarterly broadsheet for 13 years. Kelly relaunched it as a 10-issue-a-year business magazine in April 1997.
The visual "refresh" -- everything from the logo, which emphasizes the word "venture" to the colour palette -- was led by art director Kim Larson. She says
“It’s not just one idea. Everything has to interlink and make sense. You have to really think. It is massive. It’s been an intense four months.”
Editor Mike Ganley, who started less than a year ago, made a number of changes, reviewing every element and created a new emphasis in the front-of-the-book segment. It's now called The Briefing:
“We did away with what we had been doing, typically a series of mini-profiles on people and businesses, to a much more energetic, short, newsy section.”
The magazine's back page will now feature a new column, written by well-known Alberta writer Myrna Kostash. A Q&A section has been added with investing questios answered by Fabrice Taylor and the industry report section has also been given a stronger identity.
That’s something that has set the magazine apart, Kelly says, and will continue to going forward. “We are the only business magazine in Canada that looks at a specific industry in each and every issue. This is something I’ve created from the beginning and I’ve stuck with it because it’s something that differentiates us.”
The magazine's website (which will unveil its companion remake next month) carries an online account of the process behind the new look and content.
Kelly says the redesign is about more than looks or tinkering with editorial mix:
“While the anniversary is a great reason to do it, every good magazine should go through a self-examination and understand the changing patterns in its readership on a regular basis. I think one of the things we’re doing with this print edition is we have considered the importance of the movement from a print product to a digital publication – moving from fibre paper to pixel paper.”A digital copy of the new-look magazine is available.