NC State University Alumni Magazine


North Carolina State University is a public land-grant research university in Raleigh, North Carolina. Founded in 1887 and part of the University of North Carolina system, it is the largest university in the Carolinas.

Their alumni magazine had not been redesigned for years and was in need of a confident refresh that incorporated more "brags" about the community while retaining the already engaging writing and stories.

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We kept the same trim size but made an effort to create striking covers that grabbed readers' attention from their pile of incoming mail.

A major goal for the redesign was to infuse the content and design with a sense of place unique to NC State. Front- and back-of-book sections were named for places on campus and portrait illustrations were commissioned for the chancellor, editor and alumni association executive director. 

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Founded in 1887, the university has a vast research archives and loads of history to tap into. We created a recurring section, or silo, called Artifact that tells a story of a unique object or treasure held by NC State. This issue (above) featured a bee dating back to 1882!

We encouraged the team to tell and write some stories in unconventional ways—using stats, visuals and long captions to pull readers in rather than long-form text.

The new By The Numbers section is intended to feature a different infographic each issue.

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The team wasn't afraid to use illustration but we pushed their comfort zone a bit by recommending new and differerent illustration styles and artists. This feature was illustrated by Lincoln Agnew. 

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The main feature in this issue focused on the part NC State alumni played in the 1969 Apollo 11 mission. 

The timeline running through the story ends with  the launch of recent alumae and astronaut, Kristina Hammock Koch '01, '02, bound for the International Space Station.


Photography by Jon Jensen and illustrations by Harry Campbell.


This feature, which just won a CASE Platinum award for Best Article of the Year (2020), took an in depth look at the research being done on breeding and farming techniques for different varieties of sweet potatoes both in North Carolina and throughout Africa.  


Instead of using dreaded subject-provided head shots for a story on hurricane preparedness we hired illustrator Jaya Nicely to do a series of lively portraits in keeping with the story's super hero theme. 

Simplifying complex ideas.

Simplifying complex ideas.

Simplifying complex ideas.

© Copyright 508 Creative 2020

© Copyright 508 Creative 2020