Corporate Publishing dissected: Tecnogramma
I art directed the corporate magazine Tecnogramma Nr. 1 to 20 and I wanted to give a completer overview. Corporate publishing is more than just some corporate news together and see for yourself why.
What is it?
Tecnogramma is the corporate news magazine of Maico. The focus of the magazine is everything around the technology of windows – the single articles talk about the products of Maico, but mostly about technology, actual trends, legislation etc. in the window, doors, sliding window and window shutter market. Every issue has interviews with experts or new solutions developed by partners to give inspiration to the readers.
Corporate Publishing? Why?
Maico has chosen this media to get an own direct channel to its clients (producers and vendors of windows and window fittings), to planners and architects and other players in the market. The main objective of Tecnogramma is to transfer knowledge, inspire ideas, engage and stimulate the interests of its readers. In the end the goal is to transmit an image of a Maico, as a competent, up-to-date and present company of the window fitting market.
The editorial staff is composed by product managers, department managers and members of the marketing department (aka inhouse angeny). The product managers and department managers give suggestions for articles and topics to talk about and are responsible for the content of the articles if approved. The whole editorial staff discusses in various meetings (on fixed schedules) about the direction of the issue and after the articles have been written by dedicated authors they are layouted and recorded.
My main role as an art director is to give inputs about how the single topics relate to each other and what the “guiding theme” of the issue could be. After the texts are completed and approved the main job for me is to organize the photo shootings, prepare the illustration and photographic materials, do the creative transformation of the text into an appealing storytelling and the production of the audio version of the issue. More about the creative transformation can be found in the article I wrote in my blog called “Corporate Publishing doesn’t need to be boring”.
How is it made?
Every issue has one main topic or theme which connects all articles. This “guiding theme” makes its first appearance in the cover and is explained in the editorial. On the cover of Tecnogramma 17 (October 2009), for example, the title is “Quality pays off. Working the right way gives its fruits”. This theme is recurring in all articles. From the article about the right installation of windows to minimize energy losses, right to the article about the performance of sliding windows (sash windows). To get an insight into the cover designs of Tecnogramma have a look at the article “The secret behind appealing magazine covers” in my blog.
The single articles have a structure to aid the reader to grasp the content immediately, even before he starts reading the whole piece. The main points to help the reader are:
- The subdivision in Title, Subtitle, paragraphs with title
- Images, tables, graphs and illustrations
- Single phrases in highlighted in boxes with large type
- A box at the end of the article with an abstract
Often the concept of the article is not just enforced by the graphical layout, but also with special print techniques (embossing, press cut) as you can see from the images.
Since 2004, the year the magazine started with its new layout and editorial concept, Tecnogramma has evolved into new forms and media to enlarge the audience and make the contents more accessible. The newest flavor is the audio version launched in 2009. At the moment Tecnogramma is available as:
- Print edition – available through a free subscription
- Online edition – through the dedicated website www.tecnogramma.it or www.issue.com/maicosrl, where the magazine is available for download and online viewing
- Audio version – available as normal Audio-CD from Maico or as downloadable and streaming version on the Tecnogramma website. Tecnogramma da ascoltare (which means “to listen”) is also available as podcast as RSS-Feed or in iTunes.
The audio version is intended for people who don’t have time to read the entire magazine or for people who want to “read” Tecnogramma while the are travelling in their cars.
And how much is it?
The members of the editorial staff and the speakers of the audio version are staff of Maico plus external free lancers. The cost including print, postage and cd mastering is about 20.000 Euros for every issue – a relatively low cost for professional corporate publishing like Tecnogramma is.
Results. Results. Results.
Tecnogramma has become an important voice in the market of window fittings and Maico gets telephone calls from subscribers if the mail service fails to deliver the magazine on time. The subscriptions are on a constant rise without massive advertising campaigns and the audio version has hit a specific need and was a massive success.
In the end, Tecnogramma has become the most important communication channel of Maico to the market they are in.
Format: A4 with about 50 pages each issue
Circulation: 12.000 copies, 10.000 subscribers and 2.000 for manual distribution
Schedule: every 3 monthPrice: free
Target: window producers and vendors, window fitting vendors, planners, construction sector and architects
Distribution: on paper, online as pdf and audio