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  • M - Driven to Discover
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M – Driven to Discover

This quarterly publication reaches over 400,000 alumni and friends of the University of Minnesota. In addition to providing updates on news and events, the publication is designed to foster a sense of community and discovery among its readers, keeping them invested both emotionally and financially in the work of the institution.

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The Challenge

For years the University of Minnesota stayed in touch with staff, alumni and major donors — the financial lifeblood of any university — through one publication, M. However, surveys revealed that 63% of readers either didn’t like the publication or thought it needed improvement. Just as importantly, the University needed to cut production costs.

The Solution

The redesigned M is characterized by a clean, reader-friendly page layout. A seasonal color palette gives each issue a distinct identity while the new maroon-and-gold masthead makes M instantly recognizable as a University publication.

By reducing the page size, the publication qualifies for a less expensive postage rate. With 400,000 readers, that’s significant. By saving money on postage we were able to change to a heat-set web press, allowing photos and color to reproduce with noticeably higher fidelity. Switching to a coated, recycled paper further enhanced the quality of the printing while making the publication environmentally responsible.

The Results

M’s makeover helped generate overwhelmingly positive feedback from its readers, and awards from regional and national competitions. The changes to printing, paper and page size helped lower the cost of the publication nearly $30,000 annually. Even better, the simple donation envelope included with each issue generates over $150,000 in contributions each year.

I read it cover to cover, probably for the first time in years. I knew, even before the art and content, that it was the shape, typography, and layout that pulled me through from article to article.
— soma angelus, university alumnus