A clear and consistent structure

Catalyst Issue 7

A follow-up to themes examined in Issue 6, Catalyst’s Issue 7 also focused on “Designing Desire,” this time examining “Material Matters” – an examination of the material world and the role of strategic design in making sustainable material choices. Our design presented a colorful tapestry of images from around the world.

Catalyst Strategic Design Review is the journal of the Design Management Program of Pratt Institute. Presenting case studies and feature articles, the magazine documents and explains design strategy for an audience of corporate decision makers who have an influence on design. Li’l Robin was enlisted to create a comprehensive redesign of the journal, establishing a sophisticated look and clear and cohesive visual architecture. Our design creates a consistent framework that supports in-depth themes for each issue.

Catalyst is written, edited and designed by students, faculty and graduates of the Design Management Program, and the first issues of journal featured a variety of layouts and design sensibilities. Dr. Mary McBride, Director of the Design Management Program, asked Li’l Robin’s Anke Stohlmann, a graduate of the program, to complete a comprehensive redesign of the journal.

Catalyst aims to reach business leaders, and we felt that to communicate effectively with this audience, the publication needed to have a solidly professional look. We created a strong and clear structure for the magazine that establishes a branded consistency from issue to issue, so that readers recognize the Catalyst aesthetic. At the same time, the system allows for variations and creativity in the design of each issue.

The re-envisioned Catalyst is vibrant, with a consistent voice that beautifully frames the editorial content and gives the journal a sophisticated look and feel. We established a hierarchy and grid for the page design and reorganized the front-of-book and back-of-book sections so they were clearly interrelated and differentiated from the feature well. We also designed sidebars, information graphics, and other visual elements to organize the magazine’s content and provide numerous entry points for the reader. Catalyst’s modern appearance is matched by its cutting-edge production method. It is printed “on-demand” when readers purchase issues through the MagCloud website.