A2Z Design

Case Studies

Case Studies


Affinity health System

In 2011, A2Z Design partnered with the Affinity Health System marketing team to reimagine its quarterly publication, About Health. Per readership surveys, it was clear that the community was not engaged with this publication, which was being produced by an out-of-state publishing house. The template-driven content and design lacked the voice and passion of its core mission of delivering “personalized care” and its need to better connect readers to the Affinity brand.  

A2Z Design led the marketing team through an extensive renaming and rebranding process while developing and launching a successful new publication. Shorter, punchier content was packaged by various themes usually highlighted in the feature stories. Friendly call-to-actions at the end of the stories lead readers online or to call for more information.

While studying other regional publications (competitors), a bold decision was made to use only original artwork / illustration for the covers. No other major publication in Northeast Wisconsin was using original artwork and it allowed Affinity to better communicate complex and in-depth health and wellness issues. Photography would be the driving visual force for features and other departments, and together the balance of art and photography would unlock a whole new channel of creativity. 

In the summer of 2011, @Affinity magazine was launched to more than 120,000 homes in Northeast Wisconsin. Not only did it create an exciting buzz for the health system and re-engage readers, but it also cost considerably less to produce than the former publication — a win-win!

A2Z Design provided ongoing art direction, design and production for @Affinity in close collaboration with the publication coordinator at Affinity Health System. Combined with illustration talent from around the world, photography from Image Studios and many other regional vendors, @Affinity inspired and engaged readers. The magazine won more than a dozen American Advertising (Addy) Awards for design, illustration and photography excellence.

A reader survey conducted in 2013 showed that 80% of readers felt that @Affinitymagazine strengthened their personal connection to health and wellness. Additional survey data is charted in the corresponding bar graph.

View digital magazines online: issuu.com/affinityhealthsystem

Click here for a PDF version of the full case study.



Insight Publications

A2Z Design has worked with Insight Publications since its inception in late 2007. Starting with Insight on Manufacturing, this quarterly magazine launched first in December 2007 fulfilling a need to connect manufacturers and educators to one another on workforce needs, globalization challenges and best practices within the manufacturing industries of Northeast Wisconsin. Insight on Manufacturing is now published bi-monthly and simply known as IOM.

Insight on Business, known as Insight, launched in April of 2008. Margaret LeBrun and Brian Rasmussen, co-publishers, conceived this monthly publication with the vision to connect businesses and people in the New North. The goal was to bring the most dynamic, interactive package of information on what is happening — and who is influencing it — in the business world of Northeast Wisconsin, both online and in print.  

For both publications, A2Z Design led the design development from the ground up, including:

  • Branding and nameplate development
  • Ad specifications and sizes based on an optimal page column grid system
  • Pacing and design of all editorial content including departments, columns and feature wells
  • Editorial word count estimates 
  • Technical specifications: size dimension options, page count, paper stock and print vendor selections
  • Premiere issue and first year media kits. 

A2Z Design continues to lead all aspects of art direction, design and production for both Insight and IOM. A2Z also helps produce a number of other projects and special publication inserts including the New North mid-year report and annual report, and the United Way Fox Cities campaign report.

A2Z Design has worked closely with Shane Van Boxtel of Image Studios on all cover story photography for Insight since the premiere issue. This strategic partnership has forged a creative collaboration that continues to surprise and engage readers. Over the years, Insight has received dozens of American Advertising (Addy) Awards for design and photography.

View digital magazines online: insightonbusiness.com

Click here for a PDF version of the full case study.

We feel strongly that our partnership with A2Z Design has been a key component of our success.
— Margaret LeBrun, co-publisher/executive editor, Insight Publications


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