Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering Alumni Magazine Redesign

The Johns Hopkins Whiting School of engineering is the preeminent engineering school in the country. Students and Alumni are at the forefront of the engineering sciences – driving technical innovation and actively helping solve problems of global impact to improve the lives of people around the world. This makes the Whiting School of Engineering Magazine more than a magazine for its alumni, it is the school's international ambassador – connecting its people, science, and discoveries to the global community. However, the magazine's structure and design wasn’t keeping pace with the school's advancements and innovations. Designed over a decade ago, it no longer represented the innovative, risk-taking, creative ethos of the school and its people.

BCG was asked to help JHU, and we not only recommended a redesigned structure and aesthetic for the print magazine, but also a digital version of the publication for desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.

Services Provided

  • Competitive Analysis
  • Content Strategy
  • Content Development
  • Insight Development
  • Production Management
  • Market Research
  • Publication Design
  • Photo Art Direction
  • Photoshoot Planning
  • Illustration
  • Responsive Website Design & Development
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • User Experience Design

Cover & Masthead

Needing to broaden the appeal of the magazine to more than just Alumni, underscore its relevance to the engineering industry, and to further its reputation of journalistic excellence, BCG redesigned the masthead to appeal to industry influencers, news outlets, and the technically-minded public. The solution better promotes the features stories within the publication, more easily accommodates diversity in cover art styles, and more confidently establishes the Whiting School of Engineering as a forward-thinking, industry-leading institution.

Grid Structure

Using JHU-specific readership surveys as well as global publication trend data BCG determined reader behavior depended on many factors with preferences for both short and long-form content being represented. To accommodate this disparity, a dynamic grid system was developed to provide layout consistency across a broad range of content styles, while still allowing for design flexibility and clear content hierarchy. The result ensures the publication can accommodate the diversity in content style needed to engage readers based on their individual reading preferences.

Type & Color Palettes

Ensuring WSE's individuality and unique identity were embodied in the magazine was an important goal for the redesign. Due to newly established overarching Johns Hopkins brand guidelines, however, many color palette and typographic selections for the publication were already predetermined. This presented many design challenges for the team, but through expected combinations of typefaces and colors, along with color-based visual sectioning, BCG was able to achieve a unique-to-WSE visual essence while still adhering to the JHU guidelines.

Feature Article Concepts

The birth of an idea: See how BCG nurtures nascent ideas into full grown features in this Behind the Scenes look at the development of the "Conquering Concussion" feature story.

Feature Articles

Conquering Concussion

Challenge: Though they are scientists, a laboratory setting wouldn’t come close to conveying the critical importance that the research of Professors of Mechanical engineering, K.T. Ramesh and Alonzo G. Decker Jr, have played in advancing our understanding of head trauma in sports.

Solution: Since their 'digital head' system of sensors is used to collect real-time data during games, BCG chose to get them out of their field of study and onto the playing field. Evocative art-direction, dynamic typography, and playbook themed illustrations bring a visceral understanding to the content.

Hold Em or Fold Em?

Challenge: How do you visualize the subject matter of a professor who moonlights as a amateur poker player?

Solution: Reimagine playing cards and poker graphics to convey the articles more light-hearted tone.

The Guru of Cyber Cryptography

Challenge: Create a feature article of a leading professor in the field of cyber cryptography.

Solution: Illustrate the professor’s portrait in a way that merged reality with code, windows and other digital accents to bring the feature to life.

Responsive Website

During our research phase of the project, BCG determined that a large portion of WSE's potential readership would prefer to be reading the magazine on a tablet or mobile device. We developed a responsive, web-based content delivery platform that provided consistent, WSE branded experience across, desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.