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Making of a Magazine

Inspiration, Creativity and Collaboration

As we began working on this issue of the Laker Connection magazine, we thought, what better opportunity to share the creative process of how the magazine is developed?

The Laker Connection is a medium through which we have an opportunity to share with internal and external audiences the learning, innovation and accomplishments happening on our campus every day. It is one way that we demonstrate that dreams are realized here at Clayton State.

All issues of the Laker Connection magazineEvery issue is unique, and the 12 to 18 month process incorporates inspiration, creativity and a whole lot of collaboration among many individuals throughout our community. And it all begins by identifying a theme.

The theme of each magazine is inspired by the amazing work we see and the stories we hear about our students, alumni, faculty and staff. This really is the foundation for the entire process.

To keep the magazine focused and on track, a production schedule is developed that maps out key deadlines throughout the process to ensure the magazine is produced and distributed on a timely schedule. Currently, the Laker Connection is published twice a year in the Spring and Fall, and in FY15 had a print distribution of 45,000.

Once the production priorities are established, we begin the editorial process. Content and story angles are discussed. We brainstorm how to communicate these stories through written and visual content in a way that is compelling and will make our readers want to engage more with the magazine. This includes decisions on story topics, paper, printing, colors, photography and design.

After these details have been planned, stories are assigned to our staff writers or we seek out guest contributors with expertise in a certain area that is well suited for a particular topic. When asked how we decide what stories will be featured in the Laker Connection, the answer is that we look for stories that clearly embody the theme of that issue and will present the University and individual contributors in the best light.

From here, a content matrix is created that tracks all of the visual and written pieces needed before the photography and design work can begin.

This determines art direction for photo shoots, tracks the progress of editorial development and maps out the structure and layout. Once all of the content is compiled, it is handed over to the design team and that’s when the magazine starts to really take life.

There are multiple input and feedback loops that take place and at least three rounds of reviews and edits.

It is a well-structured and yet creative process that takes a lot of teamwork throughout. The magazine would never reach completion without the collaboration and coordination of many contributors to the project. In this issue alone, we feature the work of approximately 19 students and alumni, two faculty experts, 10 writers and editors, six photographers and designers and more than 25 other individuals that have facilitated the process of producing, publishing and disseminating the magazine.

This issue on creativity has been quite fascinating to work on as we have learned about the many ways creativity is expressed throughout our Laker community. And as we wrap up this edition of the Laker Connection we are already well into the work of the next issue. We always look forward to sharing the stories that are happening all around us at Clayton State and we hope to continue to interest and engage our audiences through our magazine.


Read more stories from this issue