Steam Heritage Publishing produces an annual guide to heritage museums and events and, in October 2013, they purchased Vintage Spirit, a monthly magazine on preservation of Britain's steam and industrial heritage.
We were first involved in creating a brand for Steam Heritage and designing the annual guide. We took this from a messy layout with long lines of text and created a neat, two column layout with entries broken into regions and categories to make it much easier to browse the entries.
Since designing the guide, we have also built the Steam Heritage website which contains an online version of the directory and allows museum owners and event organisers to keep their details up-to-date. The website also has the facility for us to export the data straight from the website as an XML file which can then be brought straight into the print layout software, saving a huge amount of work compared to using the old paper-based postal entry forms.
Following the Steam Heritage design work, we also got involved in updating the design and layout of Vintage Spirit Magazine. We created a much clearer type-based logo which can be used on a variety of backgrounds and with different colours so it is much stronger on the magazine cover. We also established a more retro colour pallete to provide a vintage feel to this more modern design.
In the magazine, we changed the main fonts to make it clearer to read and applied a more structured approach to layouts giving more chance to use larger images while retaining a flow to the text.
The website also needed a full redesign and build so, taking the new brand, we built a commerce website which allows users to purchase subscriptions, back issues and merchandise through the website. All products, including the back issues, are fully searchable which provides readers – and the editorial team – with a searchable archive of the magazine.
The website is built on the Expression Engine content management system and allows the client to manage all content and products. It also contains a comprehensive order management and reporting system so it's easy to track the store's performance and customers, export reports and re-market to the client base.
It was important that the website worked clearly on tablet and mobile devices as well as desktop computers so it has been built to be responsive throughout.
Email marketing is also an important part of Steam Heritage's promotional activity so we have also designed email templates for Steam Heritage and Vintage Spirit to sit in style with the branding. This allows the client to send details of the new issue, latest news, reminders and promotional offers to their client base.