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Wisconsin Magazine of History Gets Fresh Look for the Future

Wisconsin Magazine of History Gets Fresh Look for the Future

The Wisconsin Historical Society connects people to the past by collecting, preserving, and sharing stories. Now, the Society has big news for the future of their Wisconsin Magazine of History, and we’ve had the pleasure of being part of this amazing project: a major magazine redesign, debuting this month. 

Read on to learn more about the magazine redesign and the work of this important organization for the people of our great state.

If you haven’t visited The Wisconsin Historical Society’s website, you should!

It’s a treasure trove for anyone interested in Wisconsin’s history. Whether you're looking to dive into the state’s past with more than 290 million artifacts or trace your family tree with access to millions of historical records, there’s something for everyone. 

You can browse through a vast collection of photos, maps, and documents that tell the story of Wisconsin from prehistoric times to the present. It’s like stepping into a time machine that connects you with both big historical moments and personal family milestones.

But it's not just about the past; it's about community and involvement, too. The website offers easy ways to get involved, whether it's through virtual museum tours, educational programs, or even volunteering to help preserve historical sites. They make history accessible and fun, with options for all ages to learn and engage. Plus, there are plenty of tips for maintaining and restoring historic properties, so you can help keep Wisconsin’s history alive and kicking for future generations. It’s all about making history a part of your everyday life.

Spotlight on the Wisconsin History Magazine and its Redesign

For 107 years, one of the ways the Society has done this is with a publication called the Wisconsin History Magazine, issued quarterly since 1917. You can view the very first issue and every issue since on the Wisconsin Historical Society’s website.

It’s been a joy to design the Society’s magazine of history for years. Now, we’re honored to partner with the Wisconsin Historical Society to redesign this important publication. This will be the first major redesign of the magazine in 24 years, and its 7th redesign in the magazine’s 107-year history.

We asked our wonderful client and Executive Editor Sara Phillipps about the redesign and its importance in how the Society advances its mission. Here is what she had to say.

How does the magazine’s redesign impact the future of WHS?

The magazine is kind of a "set piece" for the Society--not the place where news is shared but the place where new scholarship is published in a popular format. I imagine it will still be around 100 years from now, doing what it has always done: sharing stories and new scholarship that connects readers with their state and region's past.

Why redesign the magazine now?

Other than tweaks to design, we haven't done a real redesign since Fall 2000. Twenty-four years is a long time to go between designs, but the 2000 redesign, where we shifted to full color and a bigger trim size, was classic and versatile. We've been thinking about this redesign for several years now, and we wanted it to be modern, fresh, and recognizable--something that would appeal to longtime readers as well as new Society members. 

We also wanted to offer even more accessibility, with highly readable fonts, ample white space, and an easy-to-navigate structure. The redesign also gave us the chance to package content in new ways, which we have done with the addition of short department pieces on topics such as place names, profiles, and Wisconsin firsts. We love the clean, elegant look of the new design and are thrilled to share it with readers!

Tell us about the history of the Wisconsin Magazine of History.

The Wisconsin Magazine of History (WMH) started in 1917. In 107 years of publication, it has gone through six redesigns (this is the seventh!), including four that changed the look of the interior. It currently has a circulation of 10,000, primarily members and affiliates of the Wisconsin Historical Society. 

It goes out to legislators, libraries, and homes across the state, sharing stories fueled by new scholarship, yet with a narrative focus. For many readers, WMH is their prime reason for membership. A love of history, pride in Wisconsin, and curiosity about the people, places, and events that make up our state's story draw new members to our pages each year.

Bravo, Wisconsin Historical Society, for your diligent, long-tenured work to connect the people of Wisconsin with our storied past. Thank you for trusting Huston Design to help carry your work into the future through this amazing magazine redesign project.

On Wisconsin!

If you have a project in need of redesign to carry your own company or organizational mission into the future, give us a shout. Or book a strategy session today.