Design (Print Publication)

Does your publication's design eloquently argue your organization's case?

Or is it saft, middle-of-the-road, ultra-corporate, ultra-organizational? Enbridge shows how taking design risks can benefit an organization that employs thousands.

Link Magazine is an internal publication distributed to employees of Enbridge, a Canadian oil and gas company. Link was created to highlight both the people within the organization, as well as the strategies, projects, and issues important to Enbridge’s business.

In its successful bid for top honors for Best Design among print publications in Ragan’s Employee Communications Awards for 2011, Link submitted a special, topic-dedicated issue.

The edition was created to educate the employees on a controversial project, the Northern Gateway Pipeline, so that they would have a better understanding of all the requisite decisions, planning, and hard work. Link was saddled with a difficult task: explaining a complex topic while maintaining readers’ attention.

From cover to cover the very look of this publication draws you in and keeps you turning pages. The design is engaging, fresh, and fascinating. Link’s editor and designer took a serious topic, one that has the potential to be a dry read for many, and made it fun and intriguing. Design plays a pivotal role keeping the reader’s boredom at bay. The unique combination of bright colors, the creative mix of illustrations and photographs, the recurring design theme and the elegant use of white space command one’s attention. Every detail was considered in this design, the grid, the elements, the ads—everything relates to everything else.

Pages and storylines are cleverly crafted without boring repetition. The reader wants to know—and see—what the next page holds, and the design never fails to pique the reader’s curiosity. Each page design succeeds on its own; the page spreads are woven together seamlessly to create a captivating package. Even if you’re just flipping through, there are many points of entry and many pages that simply demand your attention. The timeline, the business profiles, and the Q&A pages are great examples of pages that command instant attention—and admiration.

When all is said and done, this publication succeeds for one reason: The designers (and the editor!) weren’t afraid to take chances. They could have taken the easy route and put together a very corporate publication with safe colors and loaded with copy, but instead, they took the time to make the design work to strengthen tremendously their arguments for building the Northern Gatewasy Pipeline. It’s a perfect example of how not only words, but design, help you communicate. Design is one of the big persuaders in this brilliantly conceived magazine.

To view the winning work please click here.


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