Community Magazine - Print’s Not Dead Yet
Since I joined the New Community team five(ish) years ago we have been on a journey of re-thinking everything we are producing in print. Like most churches we used to produce an awful lot of content, and being really honest, a lot of it was awful content as well. Flyers, banners, posters, wall graphics, flyers, magazines, more flyers. You get the idea.
In a large church with lots going on it's hard to streamline all the print that flows out of the building. Over the last few years we have made a conscious decision to cut our printing ruthlessly and focus on delivering only the most important pieces of print (information?) in a way increasingly engages with its audience. We don’t want to only engage through not what 'goes on' the print but by experimenting with the printing process itself. The simply logic being that if you print something as cheap as chips the audience will treat it the same way as the countless kabab flyers shoved through their letterbox every week. But if you print it with care, thought and consideration, your communications could well be treated in the same way.
Our latest piece of print we've been labouring over is our new 'Community Magazine'. Which, on the surface, is a simple booklet with a vast collection of ways that you can connect with us as a church. We believe that it’s vital for the church to be engaged in community, but we wanted to supplement our audible emphasis through playing with the print process.
We chose a good quality uncoated stock (not the kind you get at your quick 24 hour online print shop!) and used a print process known as foil blocking (or hot foil stamping). Foil blocking is the process of applying a metallic or pigment foil to a paper or card stock, where a heated die is stamped onto the foil. This creates a piece of print communication which is set apart from anything and everything else the reader would have picked up that day. It's chunky, heavy and shiny. What more would you want?
We’re seeing that if we care about how we are presenting our communications, we can go a long way in helping our audience engage better with them. We plan tweak the colour of the foil on the cover each issue which will hopefully create a consistent identity as the magazine grows in reputation.