Publishing an Award Winner

What makes a magazine an award winner? At first, flashiness could be a factor—the surface design that catches a judge’s eye as he or she reviews hundreds of entries. But ultimately it takes more than that. Creating a truly worthy award winner requires a thoughtful process from beginning to end.

It all starts with the editorial content. What are the stories that will immerse the audience in the subject matter? This factor is especially important for member-based publications. The good news is you have the audience—now you just have to inform them, engage them, and tell them things they don’t already know.

If the editorial content is engaging, it is important that the visuals are as well. This means art-directing photographers to capture the meaning behind an article, whether it is through a portrait shoot or a photo essay. Take time to research and find imagery that is unexpected and spectacular. Work with illustrators to create images that add a layer to the story.

Great design grows from good content—when the designer truly connects with the edit to bring meaning to the surface. It is this synergy that ultimately engages the reader and will bring attention to your publication—including awards.

But it doesn’t end there. The quality of the final product is what makes a print publication unique. It is important that paper stock and printing are not short-changed. If the budget is an issue, the “less is more” approach should be used—less pages, more quality.

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