'Texas Co-op Power' Redesign Unveiled
May 29, 2020
When its 1.6 million readers fetch the August issue of Texas Co-op Power from their mailboxes, they'll see a new-look masthead adorning a completely redesigned magazine.
TEC unveiled the new look to the association's Communications and Member Services Committee on May 1. It's the first cover-to-cover redesign of the magazine since 2012 and the first time that the masthead has been changed since 1996.
"We felt like it was time for a refresh," said Martin Bevins, TEC vice president of communications and member services. "The print product is the launch pad for stories and engagement across the Texas Co-op Power communications platform, so we took our time with this redesign and put a lot of careful thought into what it should look like and why it should look the way it should."
More than a year ago, TEC communications staff began analyzing reader data and the magazine's look, feel, strengths and weaknesses, drawing on staff exercises and consulting with design experts to create a more modern but still thoroughly inviting publication.
"We went through a fairly extensive process when we decided it was time to redesign the magazine," said Andy Doughty, TEC creative manager. "We really involved all the staff in a lot of meetings to go through each section of the magazine to make sure our content matches what the readers expect and like to read."
All the departments of the current magazine—such as letters, history, recipes, event listings, reader photos and, of course, customized co-op pages—still have a home in the new design, although they will look different.
"We really wanted to keep things clean and simple—unclutter some stuff, simplify some typography and keep it really friendly and inviting for readers," Doughty said. In addition to the redesigned masthead, which incorporates a subtle lightning bolt where the hyphen in "Co-op" was and bears some resemblance to the typography of the publication's original 1944 logo, a secondary mark was unveiled with just the letters "TCP." The secondary mark will appear in print, online and in marketing. In print it will serve as an engagement button—a simple signal to readers that they can engage in some way with the content on the page.
"We want to continue to build engagement with co-op members beyond just the pages of the magazine because that engagement is the first step in building trust," Bevins said. "And you need trust before establishing loyalty."
Careful readers will notice that the redesigned magazine is slightly narrower, by about one-quarter inch, which will add up to cost savings at the printer, and that the mailing label has been moved from the front to the back page to create more space on the cover.
In May, TEC held webinars to educate communicators and local pages editors about how the changes will support the important work that they do.
"We're thrilled to share the new look with readers," Bevins said. "The magazine they've always known and loved is here to stay—and easier to read than ever."