Sibrydion Cymunedol (meaning Community Whispers in English) is very much a magazine for the community, by the community - and that matters a lot around here in Wales.
The redesign came about as I had approached the Editor, Debbie for a ‘skill trade’ – for being a start-up business I could do without spending on advertising, but equally really needed it to get myself 'out there'. The offer of a cover and template redesign in exchange for advertising space was very much welcomed by both parties. However, it soon escalated into being a full-blown redesign project!
The cover was the obvious place to start. The often beautiful landscape photographs supplied by local photographers were a real gift, but the sparse existing cover really lacked impact and a recognisable style. So the introduction of a new ‘masthead’ graphic really stands out, holding the name and key edition info clearly over any feature image. Above this, a bilingual header bar holds the 3 main content headers - Local interest, Community news and Events, which can be tied into each edition with seasonal colours, keyed to the feature image. Now the whole cover is far more distinctive and appealing, whilst setting the tone for the information within.
Content-wise, Sibrydion has always been far more than just a vehicle for local adverts - the articles are genuinely interesting, relevant and varied for everyone in the local area; whether residents, businesses or tourists that pick up an issue. Inside, the content is the same as before, but a cleaner, clearer layout and templated styling makes the content a lot more engaging and easier to navigate and read.
The template is pretty simple - it needs to be. The roll-out of future issues probably won’t be done by an experienced designer… A 4-column grid, structured and consistent typographic styling and regularised spacing and borders make both advertising and editorial content sit comfortably and clearly together. The choice of the Roboto font with both serif and sans-serif variants with multiple weights gives the whole magazine a very legible, but interesting and distinctive look too. The regular ‘event’ and local organisations info is also given a much more structured, clear and accessible formatting for easy reading of what’s on, when.
Of course, there’s also a lot of local advertising to feature - the good, the bad and the ugly, but hopefully that will only get better when the local businesses realise the difference that good design can make to their business too! You know where to come.
This project is definitely one that makes me feel good about living and working here, not for the money, but for the good of it. There’s a very strong community spirit and I’m glad I can make my mark on it.