Verge Campus Magazine

Background

Verge Campus was a successful online, student-run lifestyle publication started in 2012. College students from across the country created their own campus chapters to write, edit, and publish articles on a variety of topics, and operated their own social media channels to promote themselves. 

In 2017, Verge Campus Media was acquired by AroundCampus Group, and work began to further monetize and grow the platform.

Challenges

I was tasked to create a print magazine, which was ad-supported and distributed freely, with the ultimate goal of driving more traffic to the online publication. Because the ad sales varied by market and were highly localized, the magazine needed to be customizable per market. Additionally, this needed to be relatively easy to follow, so that interns could be taught to assist in production. We planned to release 99+ markets by the end of 2018.

Design

Each market's edition had a custom accent color on the cover and select inner elements, primarily for quick internal identification. I utilized table of contents styles to automatically regenerate them as necessary. 

To accommodate varied ad sales, the table of contents could be automatically generated and updated as articles were shuffled.

The business listings near the end of the publication could be data-merged from an exported sales spreadsheet, automatically placing logos as well as category labels and intermittent high-exposure images. Interns assisted in ad design, as well as formatting the data, and proofing. The design of the articles and the listings template are entirely my own, and I reviewed and proofed each complete magazine before publishing the PDF online.

Retrospective

There are few projects I am prouder of than Verge Campus Magazine. Unfortunately, unrealistic business expectations and a lack of distribution planning resulted in only a short run of a few hundred of the Raleigh (NC State) edition ever getting printed. The 67 editions that were laid can be found at ISSUU, for posterity. 

© 2019 Kade O'Connor

Verge Campus Magazine Spread

Inner magazine spread mockup of article – How to Throw a College Banger