Designing to be the best

DUC's Conservator magazine wins top design prize at annual magazine awards

Conservator designer Jeope Wolfe constructed three separate spreads to mimic a fridge, corkboard and traveler's map, providing a visually-appealing frame for a sequence of messages written from the perspective of migrating ducks. It was a unique and effective way to tell a complex, science-based tale with humour. © DUC

The setting: Late June, Red River College, in Winnipeg’s historic Exchange District. The event: the Manitoba Magazine Awards (aka “the Maggie Awards”) an awards luncheon hosted by the Manitoba Magazine Publishers’ Association to honour the best work of Manitoba-based magazines in 2015.

In the crowd, DUC graphic designer Jeope Wolfe waits with anticipation along with other category finalists as Winnipeg Free Press journalist and event emcee Mike McIntyre opens an envelope and reads the paper inside.

“The 2015 Maggie Award for Best Editorial Feature, Design goes to…Conservator, for the article “Pit Stops and Pitfalls,” announces McIntyre.

Wolfe proudly steps forward to accept the award on DUC’s behalf. As Conservator’s main designer for the past 14 years, he’s excited about getting kudos for his work on this article, published in Conservator’s winter 2015 issue. Read an excerpt.

In “Pit Stops and Pitfalls” Wolfe constructed three separate spreads to mimic a fridge, corkboard and traveler’s map, providing a visually-appealing frame for a sequence of messages written from the perspective of migrating ducks. It was a unique and effective way to tell a complex, science-based tale with humour.

“For a designer, it was a perfect storm of fun copy, a brilliant concept and being given a lot of room to work with,” says Wolfe. “That’s a dream scenario for any designer.”

“The designer has taken what is really a relatively small amount of copy for a feature and presented it in a graphically eye-pleasing way,” wrote one of the judges in their notes.

“When viewed in spreads, it really presents itself well. For the number of elements…it remains easy to read, uncluttered and interesting throughout. Realizing the time that goes into accomplishing a layout like this (close-cropped birds and all), I see it as a work of art on the designer’s part.”

Twenty-eight finalists were nominated for eight awards that honoured the best editorial writing, creative writing and design work published in Manitoba-based magazines.

Industry professionals from Manitoba and across Canada chose the finalists from among more than 50 entries.

Conservator magazine can add this latest Maggie Award to other recognition from past years, including:

  • Best Business or Individual Profile 2015
  • Best Single Issue 2015
  • Magazine of the Year 2011
  • People’s Choice Award (best overall magazine) 2012
Conservator staff
Conservator magazine designer, Jeope Wolfe (right), with editor Leigh Patterson.
© DUC

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