GX Magazine is a specialty publication focusing on retention and recruiting Soldiers in the Army National Guard. In addition to covering modern missions and historic events, GX empowers Soldiers and their families with custom content about fitness, nutrition, relationships, and careers. It is a 108-page, high-end print magazine that is delivered bi-monthly to more than 220,000 mailboxes.
Every 108-page issue is divided into departments and features. Departments typically consist of more templated single pages and spreads. When designing these pages, my main responsibility was to layout the provided copy and find appropriate visuals - through stock images, custom illustrations, or photoshoots. I then worked with the editorial team to make minor adjustments to give every page a polished look.
Each issue included five to six feature stories relating to the Guard experience. I concepted and designed several per issue. For most of these features, we worked with photographers for in-studio portraiture or on-location field photography depending on our needs. I worked closely with the art director and editor in chief to make necessary edits.
During GX Magazine's 13 year history, it has won over 40 industry awards. In my two years working on the magazine, we won five design specific awards from both national and local organizations including a 2017 Silver Award for Best Magazine Design from the Nashville ADDY Awards and 2017 Best Overall Design for a Custom Publication from the Eddie and Ozzie Folio Awards.
In several stories, I created custom infographics to help visually guide a reader. Throughout the magazine, we strive for multiple points of entry for friendly content consumption and a natural pacing of more text-heavy pages vs. art-heavy ones.
Digital Content Management
After the publication of each issue, our team would upload ten to twelve stories to GXOnline.com. For some features, we were able to include additional content including extra images or video. From January 2016 to November 2016, the website averaged 150 visitors every day and spent an average time of 5:17 on a feature story page. 96% of readers who participated in our online reader survey said they were happy with how GX portrayed Guard life.
iostudio: Art Direction by Dustin McNeal.