Review Redesign Reaps Rewards, Renown
Associated Church Press fêtes effort with two Awards of Merit; Paulsen article ties for honorable mention
BY MARK A. KELLNER, News Editor
yearlong effort to redesign and relaunch Adventist Review, the 160-year-old flagship magazine of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, was honored with two top awards by the Associated Church Press, a 96-year-old trade group, during a banquet in Indianapolis, Indiana, on May 7.
The publication received the ACP Award of Excellence for “Publication Redesign” and for “Ancillary Products.” Mark Bond, a freelance graphic designer, who is now communication director for the Southwestern Union of Seventh-day Adventists, was a co-recipient of both awards. Other winners included Review designer Bill Tymeson and Dever Designs (based in Laurel, Maryland) for the magazine’s redesign. Associate publisher Claude Richli shared the “Ancillary Products” award with Bond.
It’s the second time Adventist Review won top honors for a redesign, with the ACP having bestowed the same award 12 years ago on the magazine’s 1996 effort. The latest redesign effort began in the summer of 2007 and culminated in Octover 2008 with the premiere of the new look.
WINNING EDITORS: Adventist Review's Carlos Medley, left, and Kimberly Luste Maran, right, celebrate their awards at the 2009 Associated Church Press convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. Online editor Medley tied for an Award of Merit in the Publication Website category, while assistant editor Maran's "Inbox: Letters from our Readers" won the award of Excellance for a letters to the editor section. [Photo: Stephen Chavez/AR]
The magazine’s “Inbox: Letters from Our Readers” also received an “Award of Excellence” going to assistant editor Kimberly Luste Maran and interim assistant editor Gina Wahlen.
Pastor Jan Paulsen, president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, received an “Honorable Mention” in the “Feature Article: Magazine (Long Format)” category. He tied with Bob Smietana, religion writer for the Tennessean newspaper in Nashville for an article in “The Covenant Companion” magazine and with Megan Sweas of U.S. Catholic.
Honorable mentions also went to Adventist Review for an illustration by Ralph Butler for “I Don’t Wanna Go to Church Anymore” (July 10, 2008), and another in “Ancillary Products” for KidsView, the Adventist Review for children.
“We’re delighted that Adventist Review and Adventist World have again been recognized by the nation’s major association of religious publications for the quality and significance of our work,” said Bill Knott, editor and executive publisher of the two magazines. “We’re particularly pleased that the redesign of Adventist Review, on which our editorial team, designers, and consultants spent nearly a year, has been specially honored with the Associated Church Press’ highest award in two categories.”
Knott added, “This professional recognition confirms the very positive responses we have been receiving since the redesigned Review emerged last October. Readers everywhere are telling us that they appreciate the fresh, contemporary look, the ease in finding their favorite sections and departments, as well as the clear, focused articles on topics they care about.”
John Johanek, a 30-year veteran of publication design and a partner with Ayers/Johanek Publication Design, Inc., said the Adventist Review redesign “from the very start … looks more contemporary and fresh with a new logo. Inside the issue flows better, looks better, and reads better. Content is more organized, more clearly delineated, and visually improved. An all-around upgrade.”
The marketing materials for the “new” Review promoted the magazine as “A Whole Different Species” and, as a result, judge Katie Shull, an art director for LifeWay Christian Resources wrote, “The campaign clearly demonstrates that something is in fact new and unique about the magazine. The design is clear, readable, and informative. Most of all it is very creative and fun.”
In response, Richli noted, “In the process of changing the look of the magazine, we wanted to give our advertising a fresh and attractive quality that says that Adventist Review is not that old, dusty magazine anymore, but a new species. It was meant to get the attention of a younger audience, susceptible to responding to strong and unconventional visual cues. We call this animal the ‘Zion,’ blending the strength and nobility of a lion with the aesthetic beauty of a zebra. The great number of people who actually noticed and reacted to it, starting with teenagers, has delighted us. Some people have called or written us to know in what zoo they could get to see this animal! Graphic designers have commented on it or pinned it on their walls. The ACP award confirms what our audience has told us.”
Judging the letters section, Brian Cleveland, the copy desk chief at the Norfolk, Va., Virginian Pilot newspaper, said “this entry includes a variety of topics in each of the dates submitted. The design is very clean and the letters organized in a fitting manner. The cover images, pull quotes, and use of spot color give it [a] visual appeal.” (“Pull quotes” is a publishing term for sentences extracted from an article or letter that are set in larger type to attract a reader’s attention.)
Adventist Review’s Web site, AR Online, tied with the Roman Catholic magazine Commonweal for an Award of Merit in the “Publication Website” category. AR Online won the Award of Excellence in this category in 2008 (see Adventist Review, May 15, 2008, p. 20).
MINISTRY EDITOR: Nikolaus Satelmajer, editor of Ministry: International Journal for Pastors magazine, right, talks with Associate Church Press executive director Joe Thoma at the Indianapolis event. Ministry won an Award of Excellence for its cover design featuring house churches.
This year, judge Heidi L. Toboni, an Internet consultant in Chicago, said AR Online delivered “an attractive design that maximizes space and technical functionality without an overly template or boxy impression.” She said the site offers “strong branding and excellent content management.”
Two other Seventh-day Adventist publications won major awards at the ACP convention. For the third year in a row, the Canadian Adventist Messenger won the group’s Award of Excellence in the “Acorn Award” category, given, the group said, “for publications with small budgets and distributions,” which might aptly describe a union with 347 churches and 59,566 baptized members.
The Messenger, judge Ken Waters, a journalism professor at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, said, “Features a comprehensive array of stories of interest to readers. It is difficult to provide content that spans a massive country, and this magazine does a good job of presenting that content.”
Ministry, International Journal for Pastors won an Award of Excellence for “Magazine Cover,” specifically the April 2008 issue on “New Testament House Churches: A model for Today’s Complex World?” The cover was prepared by 316 Creative, and said judge Robert E. Ayers, also of Ayers/Johanek Publication Design, Inc., contained “a striking, eye-catching graphic, a very good use of typography in color, font selection and placement. The overall color mood is pleasing, with the cover line type relating well to the main graphic element.”
Founded in 1916, ACP is a community of communication professionals brought together, according to its Web site, “by faithfulness to their craft and by a common task of reflecting, describing, and supporting the life of faith and the Christian community.” Nearly 200 publications, Web sites, news services, and individuals are ACP members.
Since 1849, Adventist Review has been the flagship journal of the Seventh-day Adventist movement, having commenced publication 14 years before the church was formally organized as the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in 1863. Today, Adventist World, the international paper for the church, which appears in six languages in print and seven online, joins the Review in communicating news of the world church to its constituency.