Challenge – The American Coatings Association (ACA), a non-profit dedicated to representing both companies and professionals in the paint and coatings industry, decided that a redesign of its flagship publication CoatingsTech was necessary in 2015. This project was launched to not only update the design, which had not been refreshed since 2010, but to also build cohesive brand recognition between the association’s new website and the publication’s print and digital editions. ACA caters to three primary audiences who work in various facets of the industry, challenging the ACA editorial team to ensure that the content and design of every issue meets each of these unique audience’s needs and expectations. With the goals of growing readership and remaining competitive against external for-profit publishers, ACA also decided to unveil a reimagined digital edition to coincide with the launch of the new print design.
Solution – ACA tapped Bates Creative as its partner for the magazine redesign and magazine app launch. The redesigned magazine unveils an updated nameplate and new headline and body copy fonts that were purposely selected to reflect the technical and industrial feel of the coatings industry in a modern way, while still ensuring readability. A new color palette was systematically chosen to help readers quickly find the departments and content they are looking for. The spectrum color palette also subtly nods to paint swatches, and the bright pop colors that were chosen appeal to the younger demographic of professionals who are entering the industry in greater numbers. ACA aimed to increase engagement with its new digital edition of CoatingsTech compared to its previous flip-page digital format. To achieve this, ACA adopted Adobe DPS (now AEM Mobile) as the new mobile app platform for the magazine. Bates Creative translated the final print design to digital and incorporated interactive elements to engage users with video, audio, infographics, and links to PDFs and supplementary web content. The new CoatingsTech mobile app also features a custom storefront, where app users can download issues, access additional ACA content, request information on advertising and contact the ACA team. The redesigned CoatingsTech balances educating readers with the technical content that is featured, while also displaying a modern and clean design that complements the editorial content.
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