Catholic Health World, a bimonthly newspaper published by and for the Catholic Health Association of the United States, unveiled its new look with its Sept. 1, 2010 issue. Created by Ron Reason, the new look is brighter, bolder, and better organized, and features a redesigned logo, new story structures, color palette and info boxes. “One of the key goals in working closely with the staff was to create smarter headlines, and graphic devices like infoboxes that summarize crucial points of a story, that will make their content more accessible to busy executives in the health care field,” Reason said. “A close eye was paid to actual content as prototypes were created, to make sure they weren’t just given a window-dressing treatment, but that the pages were actually improved for the reader.”
Above are examples of the new design, with live front pages published before and after the relaunch. Below are samples of a number of logo variations that were presented to the client (red and blue were color options until the final decision, which went with blue), as well as a before-and-after look at a feature story display, on the paper’s back page. “The presentation of a variety of options for brand creation or refinement is a critical part of my design work for clients,” Reason said.
Previously, Reason directed redesigns for other prominent Catholic publications including Our Sunday Visitor, the U.S. national news weekly. Below are samples of the cover design before the relaunch, compared with a prototype page on the same cover topic, and several live covers using the new format.
Our Sunday Visitor chose a more magazine-like cover treatment than did Catholic Health World. Each design was custom-tailored to the client’s needs, and different reading habits. Note that a dramatic reinvention of the logo was part of the strategy for OSV; initially there was concern that a more conservative audience might not go for such a radical change, including the abbreviation of the logo, but focus groups showed extremely enthusiastic support for a progressive new look. Even nuns like to keep up with the times! Some of the bolder elements of the design were proposed in order to recapture younger readers within the church; great attention was paid to writing more dynamic headlines that would compel the reader to pick up and consume the publication more quickly or more often than before.