There was a unique problem to solve with the 10th anniversary issue of Morningstar magazine. The issue needed to celebrate the past ten years of the magazine’s history, while simultaneously addressing the desire to look ahead to the future.
The magazine editor-in-chief and publisher influence the art and design requirements of every issue, both through the subject matter that is being featured and the budget that is allocated. Jerry Kerns, our editor-in-chief, partners closely with design to ensure editorial content is represented in a clear, inspiring way that engages our readers. For the anniversary issue, Kerns wanted artwork that reflected the editorial theme, in his words: “For the anniversary issue, we resisted nostalgia. We decided to give our readers new research and ideas about the future of investing. Of course, we acknowledge the past and what we learned.” In particular, Kerns wanted to ensure we conveyed the theme throughout the Spotlight section of the magazine, which contains a series of feature stories, all connected to the future of investing. In addition, magazine publisher Leslie Marshall asked art director Alex Skoirchet to create something different and special that would make the anniversary issue stand out from previous issues.
It has been a short time since the publication of the anniversary issue, but we have already received positive feedback from internal stakeholders and from our readers. Kerns is very pleased with the anniversary treatment, so much so that he has asked to repurpose the artwork on special anniversary t-shirts for the entire magazine team. Marshall praised the silver-grey cover treatment, she noted that the shine on the cover not only catches readers’ attention but has a clever twist of also representing the aluminum anniversary (10 years). Morningstar’s chief content officer Sylvester Flood reached out with enthusiasm, “The silver on red/white has really grown on me… I have spent an unknown amount of time just staring at it. Great job, Alex, et al.!” Furthermore, performance metrics show subscriptions are increasing at a faster rate and that our readers are engaging with the anniversary issue across our corporate social media channels, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
Readers took to Twitter to share their thoughts and photos of their personal copy. Not only did readers appreciate the unique look with comments such as “stands out in a sea of boring” and “beautiful,” but they also understood the underlying message that stems from our mission. As one reader put it, “The future of investing looks promising in embossed silver.” This is the positive reaction we hoped to achieve—for our readers to acknowledge the success of our 10 years while also understanding that Morningstar is committed to helping investors create brighter futures for the next 10 years.