Workspan Magazine Redesign Comes To Life with a Provocative Edge

Text-heavy, lackluster and cluttered: WorldatWork recognized that its flagship publication Workspan magazine needed a new energy that mirrors the progressive nature of its more than 70,000 readers. WorldatWork is a global association for human resources management professionals and business leaders that provides education, research and advocacy for its members to generate better results for their organizations.

However, Workspan magazine’s design struggled to evoke the same contemporary boldness of the thought-provoking topics it covers. WorldatWork tapped Beyond Definition (formerly Bates Creative) to redesign the publication that had not experienced a fresh look since the turn of the Millennium.

Workspan Magazine: Stuck in the Past

WorldatWork was formerly known as the American Compensation Association until 2000, when it changed its organizational name as well as its publication from ACA News to Workspan. Over the past 17 years, Workspan remained stagnant with lengthy stories and a stale design that did not lend versatility to the magazine. It was time for the Workspan team to reflect on where to take its magazine both in the print and digital spaces.

WorldatWork's Workspan magazine pre-redesign

Welcome to a New Era

It didn’t take long for WorldatWork members to comment on the redesigned launch issue of Workspan magazine.

“Congratulations on the new look of Workspan! It is fresh and nicely done. Feels much more up to date, and like a publication that would draw my attention in the airport – kind of like Fast Company!”

— Sara McAuley, CCP, WLCP, Managing Partner, McAuley Consulting Group, and Chair of the WorldatWork Association Board of Directors

A Redesigned Attention Grabber

Our team collected WorldAtWork’s proprietary research previously done to capture a snapshot of its membership base. The data allowed our team to fully understand the demographics of the members, and expectations to lead to an organizational rebrand that would subsequently flow into its printed Workspan magazine and website counterpart. Digging deeper, our team carefully extracted key insights of Workspan’s focus group takeaways and found that senior-level professional women are the most engaged segment of readers. In fact, nearly 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies employ a WorldatWork member.

Everything was on the table for the redesign and Beyond Definition had an appetite to create change. But if there’s one thing we knew the magazine needed based on its target audience, it was provocativeness.

The Workspan team was working on creating a magazine website concurrently with the magazine redesign Beyond Definition was leading. While the website project kicked off before the magazine redesign, it was decided that the revitalized Workspan would populate the website with its new content strategy and design. In turn, the magazine includes calls-to-action that would direct readers to the website for a multi-channel Workspan experience.

With the launch of the redesign, readers are welcomed to a new magazine experience orchestrated with shorter articles that allow for a more visually compelling reading experience. Workspan now features a vast array of photography, bold and custom artwork as well as an easily navigable flow of content. Unique feature articles and designs add a level of provocativeness for topical issues that raise intrigue for readers as well as current and prospective advertisers.

“I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the new layout and changes made to the recent issue of Workspan. The articles and corresponding images were engaging and interesting. Nice work with the redesign! Thank you for continuing to provide meaningful and valuable compensation content.”

— Naomi Gerace, Compensation Analyst, The Sherwin-Williams Company

HR professionals tackle a rising tide of workplace situations on a day-to-day basis: politics, drugs, diversity and inclusion policies and sexual harassment codes, just to name a few. Workspan is not skirting around these topics with delicacy.

Instead, it is leading these national conversations with blatant and honest reporting and compelling design—the giant joint on the January 2018 cover was not meant to be subtle—that makes readers take pause, read and want to learn more. Workspan is analyzing its members’ reading behavior by collecting data through its magazine website to continuously stay on the pulse of not only what members want to know, but what they need to know about the HR profession.

The launch issue opens a new era for the association’s membership. We continue to work right alongside Workspan with the design of each issue.

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Beyond Definition

Beyond Definition is a strategy and creative agency serving mission-driven organizations. For 16 years, Beyond Definition has offered design, branding, digital, marketing, and print expertise to clients in the association, foundation, and nonprofit sectors.

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