Case Study by Susan Yang RGD, Creative Director at Boldsquare Creative Studio
Editors Canada is a national association promoting professional editing. With membership on the decline for several years due to a major change in the labour market for editors, Boldsquare Creative Studio was tasked with building brand awareness to help the association grow membership and reach the next generation of editors.
Editors Canada is a membership organization comprised of members who are salaried and freelance, working in various industries and sectors. The association supports members with professional development, networking and collaboration. To address declining membership, they held a discovery phase and put together a strategic plan.
The main obstacles were rooted on the lack of awareness of Editors Canada and the need to shift the perception of the editing profession as a whole. The next steps would be to build awareness of the benefits and services Editors Canada provides to support editors and help the association expand into diverse and developing markets with a focus on retaining current members and acquiring potential new members.
Boldsquare Creative Studio was approached by Editors Canada to design their key promotional booklet “So You Want to Be an Editor” (2015), which focused on shifting the perspective of the editing profession and connecting with the professional community. From there, a secondary project was taken on for their promotional poster “Pathways to Success with Editors Canada” (2018), which would highlight the career paths that an editor can take and the important benefits provided by the association's programs and initiatives, such as conferences, networking opportunities, standards education and more.
Editors Canada set a strategic plan with a discovery phase and rebranding in 2014-2015. Boldsquare Creative Studio collaborated directly with Editors Canada's Senior Communications Manager and Project Manager to lead the creative / art direction, design and production for both projects with specific attention on concept strategy, brand development and design.
Project #1: 'So You Want to be An Editor' Booklet (2015)
The creative process was kept agile and efficient. The client provided copy drafts and the deliverables included two cover concepts, three rounds of revisions and a final package. The booklet was designed to a size of 3.75” x 8.75” specifically to fit within a #10 envelope for convenient mail distribution. Download the “So You Want to Be an Editor” booklet.
Project #2: 'Pathways to Success with Editors Canada' Poster (2018)
The client had expressed an initial idea of a poster that could integrate a board game-inspired feel, where anyone interested in editing could plot him or herself on the board based on where they are in their editing careers.
To incorporate the board game inspiration but also integrate an infographic-like feel, Boldsquare Creative Studio conducted preliminary research on various types of board games, video games and map systems which were examined with brand keywords in mind: simple, progressive, intuitive, creative, modern, etc. From there, provided creative direction and strategically set up three harmonious yet distinct parts to represent a supportive community framework consisting of:
Four quadrants. Each quadrant represents a career level (student, junior editor, experienced editor and senior editor) and integrated by a linear path where you can see your available paths.
Social media channels. Engagement and tie-in of technology to provide available communication paths to the community by being centralized on the poster.
Certifications. Bring awareness to the importance and ultimate goal for an editor where an editor can be recognized for their commitment and skills.
The initial execution started out with a raw sitemap introduction of all the career levels followed by minor content adjustments and layout rearrangements to better accommodate the changes. The single-sided, print poster was designed to be square-shaped 24” x 24”, folded to a size of 8” x 8” to be included in member kits distributed through mail and shared at conferences, industry and local events.
For the poster, the design required keeping bilingual text together on one page while incorporating all of the relevant text without compromising legibility. To address this, the initial copy draft was simplified and the design remained flexible to adapt to the content changes while maintaining the overall concept and layout.
The initial scope only asked for a print poster, but distribution was then changed to make the poster available to Members online as a first introduction to the project. The designs were set up to be flexible and adaptable for future retrofitting; colour contrast, typographic legibility and readability and overall spatial considerations were taken into account. To address accessibility with the online distribution of the poster, the solution was to let the client know that accessible information could be provided in other formats upon request.
The booklet is continuously being shared and distributed at events, conferences and to members, students, prospective editors and other communication professionals to increase interest and discussion. The poster is providing a visual and informative way to get across the benefits and services that Editors Canada provides. It has opened up the perspective of the editing profession as a whole and members are more aware of their available career paths and possible ways to get certification.
“In 2014/2015, Editors Canada undertook its first corporate rebrand in over a decade to tell its story in a positive, contemporary and dynamic way, and to connect with a more diverse demographic. Susan Yang was the perfect designer to update one of its cornerstone promotional pieces, the So You Want to Be an Editor career guide. For more than 20 years, the guide had been an invaluable resource for people considering the editing profession. Under Susan's eye it became the stylish, bold and modern piece needed to appeal to the next generation of editors. The design of this piece also set the stage for the look and feel of future promotional pieces like the Pathways to Success poster.” -- Michelle Ou, Senior Communications Manager, Editors Canada
- To every challenge, there is always a solution – explore, experiment and push yourself.
- Always design for future maintainability in awareness of the bigger picture.
- Keep accessibility at the forefront of the creative process to avoid future barriers.
Published April 2019