June 27, 2014
Dog Ear Consultants
Class Notes. Very few of us are producing magazines without them, and while they’re well read among alumni magazine readers, it can be tough to make these pages really sing and encourage readers to read beyond their class-year blurb. It strikes us as odd that this section is likely the spot where readers turn first, and yet many of us (we’re guilty, too) neglect it in the redesign process and in the day-to-day production of our magazines. But the University at Buffalo chose a different route, embracing Class Notes fully in their rethink.
A little background: Dog Ear had the pleasure of working with UB as they began to rethink their publication last year. We offered a critique, some section ideas, and a best practices presentation to the editorial and design teams, as well as some administrators. The magazine staff took it from there. And boy, did they ever.
The redesign, at the hands of resident art director, Rebecca Farnham, brought the magazine a much more modern look, with plenty of service journalism and relevant pieces that cover timely topics beyond campus, but our favorite section of the book might very well be Class Notes.
In all of the magazines we read, we have yet to see a Class Notes section that rivals the one in UB’s newly named At Buffalo. (It also produces an alumni news section that is relevant, fun, and useful—how many of us can truly say the same?) Check it out for yourself for some inspiration. Here’s a PDF.
And kudos to Farnham, editor Ann Whitcher-Gentzke, and the rest of the At Buffalo team.