I am tempted to call Denison Magazine the best alumni magazine in North America. I hesitate only because the field varies so widely, making comparisons too dodgy to stand up to much scrutiny. Denison, Harvard, The Penn Stater, and CAM all are excellent alumni magazines, but serve such different reader constituencies and different institutions that stating one is better than the other ends up being pretty silly. But I will say this. We now receive about 200 alumni magazines here at the UMagazinology Galactic Compound and Undisclosed Location, and for the past year, the one I consistently look forward to the most is the one put out by Maureen Harmon and her talented crew.
The Fall 2012 edition does not disappoint. As everyone should know by now, Denison does this great thing with its cover “story,” making it a graphic feature that starts on the cover, continues on the inside front cover and the first five pages of the magazine, and uses the back cover, too. This time, the magazine recognizes that the theme for campus programming this academic year is “creativity and courage.” The magazine hired illustrator Peter Arkle to draw the ensuing six-page spread. (As always, click to enlarge the images.) The result was a sort of creative artist’s notebook recording dozens of examples of courage and creativity, everything from the serious—Desmond Tutu, Manal al-Sharif, ancient Athenians dreaming up democracy, Pussy Riot standing up to Putin—and the not-so-serious—“A woman adds red pepper to her grandmother’s spaghetti sauce recipe.”
The editorial content in the rest of the magazine is first rate, as usual. What a great issue.
Michelle M. Simmons, editor at Dickinson, has had a little work done. On her magazine, I mean. The Fall 2012 issue debuted a redesign by Landesberg Design (which has also done design work for Kenyon and Oberlin print material), and gave me an excuse for more scannerfest. Below, old cover on left, new cover on right.
There’s much to like with the new design. What stands out to me is the typography. Here is the table of contents, for example:
Great feature spread (for a story about getting and holding a job in contemporary journalism, God forbid):
And I really like this one:
While I’m indulging myself with another scannerfest, here’s a nice spread from Berkeley Engineer explaining the use of nanoparticles to deliver drugs directly to tumors. Jason Lee did the illustration. Karen Rhodes edits the magazine.
Finally, there’s some sort of strange gang sign business going on at the University of Kentucky. Thanks to Kentucky Alumni (Kelli Elam, editor) for bringing it to light. Word of caution: In Baltimore, this kind of thing gets you shot.