Designer: Ronda Schierenbeck
When it comes to depicting
the ocean, images of deep
blue waters, rolling waves,
marine life, and endless horizons
come to mind. But Florida State
University’s (FSU) Department of Oceanography
newsletter lacked any visual graphic interest of this
kind. DG designer Ronda Schierenback set out on a
course to redesign it.
“They have way too much copy, and because of
the tri-fold, there isn’t any need for page numbers.
The activities page is hard to read and the type runs
together,” Schierenbeck comments. FSU coordinator
of Information and Public Services Rachel Smith
concurs. “The headings are boring,” she says. “It’s too
plain.” Smith wants to see a more interesting design
to draw the attention of her current audience, which
consists largely of scientists.
FSU offers Smith a limited budget for the
newsletter. “I’m allowed two colors,” Smith notes.
Straying from FSU’s prominent school color, red,
Schierenbeck decided to use black and a green-tinged
blue, more representative of the ocean and seas. Text,
photos, and headlines are in black, while blue is used
for the nameplate and to draw attention to certain
headlines and ocean images within the pages.
Schierenbeck redesigned the newsletter’s title,
Oceanography, with a unique, semi-opaque treatment,
giving it a liquid appearance. She combined the very
readable font Futura with ITC Galliard throughout
the newsletter. “They like to use lots of photos of
students, faculty, and alumni in the newsletter,”
offers Schierenbeck. “The new layout allows for this,
but they will have to be conservative with their copy.
I also suggest using simple, appealing images such as
water and sea life to gain additional attention. These
can come from an inexpensive, royalty-free CD.”