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F I N D A N E W PU RPOS E

Visual Strategy Guide


F I N D A N E W PU RPOS E

Visual Strategy Guide


Life

Visual Strategy Guide

Contents 01 A BOU T TH I S BOO K This visual strategy guide explains the research and strategy work behind this rebranding project for Life. We start the whole process with a look back on Life’s brand history. We distill the essence of Life and build our new mission upon it. We then identify Life’s new audience and use archetypal personas to represent them. By doing this, we can better understand their interests and design for them. We also think about how our visual style would evolve in the future to better represent the new Life. In the last chapter, we take a look at the brands that Life is currently competing with and hopes to line up with, so we can better understand what makes Life unique— and build our future upon it.

It’s All About Life 0 6 –11

OUR STORY 1 2 –1 5

A BRIEF LOOK BACK 1 6 –1 9

OUR MISSION 2 0 –2 4

BRAND KE Y WORDS 2 4 –25

FUTURE PURPOSE

2


02

04

Audience Profiles

Brand Competitors

2 8 – 37

48 – 49

AUDIENCE PERSONAS

CURRENT COMPETITORS

03

Visual Tone Evolution 4 0 – 41

5 0 – 51

ADJACENT COMPETITORS 52 – 53

FUTURE COMPETITORS

WHAT WE WERE LIKE 42– 45

WHAT WE WILL BE 3


01  It’s All About Life 

01

It’s All About Life 0 6 –11

OUR STORY 1 2 –1 5

A BRIEF LOOK BACK 1 6 –1 9

OUR MISSION 2 0 –2 4

BRAND KE Y WORDS 2 4 –25

FUTURE PURPOSE

5


Life

Visual Strategy Guide

OUR STORY

6

Originally a humor magazine founded in 1883, Life was reincarnated as a weekly magazine with a strong emphasis on photojournalism after it was purchased in 1936 by Henry Luce, the owner of Time. Life was the first all-photographic American news magazine. It has impacted society in many unforgettable ways, allowing people to eyewitness events happening around the globe and be more aware of the world.


Life

Visual Strategy Guide

Life: A Prospectus for a New Magazine —Henry Luce, 1936

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01  It’s All About Life 

Our Story

To see life; to see the world; to eyewitness great events; to watch the faces of the poor and the gestures of the proud; to see strange things—machines, armies, multitudes, shadows in the jungle and on the moon; to see man’s work—his paintings, towers and discoveries; to see things thousands of miles away, things hidden behind walls and within rooms, things dangerous to come to; the women that men love and many children; to see and take pleasure in seeing; to see and be amazed; to see and be instructed...

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Life

Visual Strategy Guide

A BRIEF LOOK BACK

By looking back on Life’s starting point and the path it took, we distill the essence of Life and will use it as the fuel to drive Life to a new future.

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01  It’s All About Life 

A Brief Look Back

1883 DEBUT

1936 RELAUNCH

Originally a humor magazine, the first issue of Life was published in New York by John Ames Mitchell and Andrew Miller.

Life was purchased and relaunched as a photojournalism magazine by Henry Luce, founder of Time Inc.

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Life

Visual Strategy Guide

1941 PHOTOJOURNALISM

1978 MONTHLY

After the U.S. entered the war, Life had sent out dozens of war correspondents to document the war and bring it home to America.

Life was published as a monthly magazine and continued for the next 22 years.

1972 DOWNTURN The weekly Life magazine ceased its publication after several reductions in circulation. Life published several special reports between 1972–1978.

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01  It’s All About Life 

A Brief Look Back

1993 STRUGGLE

2004 SUPPLEMENT

2012 ARCHIVE

Life was struggling financially and started to be printed on smaller pages.

Life resumed weekly publication as a free supplement to several of U.S. newspapers.

Life collaborated with Getty Images to launch Life.com, holding both the Life Picture Collection and significant contemporary photography.

1986 50 Y EARS

2000 PAUSED

2007 FAREWELL

Life marked its 50th anniversary with a special issue showing every Life cover starting from 1936.

Time Inc. announced it would cease regular publication of Life.

Time Inc. stopped the publication of the magazine but preserved the website.

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Life

Visual Strategy Guide

OUR MISSION

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01  It’s All About Life 

Our Mission

Life’s mission is to inspire people to see life and share their view with the world

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Life

Visual Strategy Guide

BRAND KE Y WORDS

These keywords summarize what the new Life is about. They will become the pillars of Life’s brand development and future extensions.

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01  It’s All About Life 

See Share World

Brand Keywords

K E Y WO RD 01 Life broadens people’s perspective and inspires people to go see the world themselves and experience diverse cultures personally. By doing this, Life reminds people to cherish their own lives and respect other’s lives.

K E Y WO RD 02 Life didn’t shy away from sharing opinions with its audience when it was still a magazine, and it will go beyond one-way sharing of its view in its brand new future. Life will be a place for people to exchange their thoughts and stories about life, which can be communicates with photography, art, videos, podcasts, talks, articles, etc.

K E Y WO RD 03 Life is not about fantasy. Life is about the world we live in together with myriads of other creatures. By documenting the fast-changing world, Life becomes an archive of the past, a journal of the present, and a glimpse of the future.

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01  It’s All About Life 

Brand Keywords

“The camera is my weapon against the things I dislike about the universe and how I show the beautiful things about the universe.” —Gordon Parks

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Life

Visual Strategy Guide

FUTURE PURPOSE

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01  It’s All About Life 

Future Purpose

The new Life will evolve beyond simply bringing the world to people through still images and articles, and beyond using printed media as the only format. Instead, Life will inspire you to go see life yourself, and even more so, to be a storyteller yourself. By providing a wide range of products and services, Life will allow you to experience diverse places, cultures, and ways of living; to be the eyewitness to the fast-changing environment. Life will also build platforms and networks for you to share your view and join the discussion of what’s happening in today’s world. Contests, festivals, and exhibitions will allow people who want to document their experience through art and literacy to present their talents and perspectives.

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02  Audience Profiles 

02

Audience Profiles 2 8 – 37

AUDIENCE PERSONAS

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Life

Visual Strategy Guide

AUDIENCE PERSONAS

By identifying the new Life’s potential audiences, we can better serve their needs, interests, and goals. We feature six archetypal personas that are different from each other but share an interest in seeing the world, along with two personas that are not our audience to show the comparison.

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02  Audience Profiles 

OU R AU D I E N CE

Audience Personas

01

02

03

04

05

06

07

08

Our audience is people who are interested in exploring the world, learning about current events, and willing to share their own view with the world.

N OT OU R AU D I E N CE People who are too occupied by their current routine or are more interested in fictional stories are not our audience.

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Life

Visual Strategy Guide

The Freshman PE RSO N A 01

JOHN KIM • He is about to graduate from high school and he plans to take a gap year break to broaden his perspective before attending college. • He tries to be as independent as he can and has been working part-time during weekends and school breaks to save money for his upcoming trip. • He jumps between different interests because he is always after new experiences. • He is still on his way to discovering his true passion and he wants to figure it out. • He is very active on social media such as Instagram and Snapchat. He not only wants to stay updated with his friends but also with the world around him.

Age 18 Occupation Student

30

• He grew up hanging out with kids from the Korean community but he always sought chances to make friends outside his community. • Being a Gen Zer who has grown up with the Internet, using new devices and technologies is not something he needs to learn, but something he intuitively knows.


02  Audience Profiles 

Audience Personas

The Advocate PE RSO N A 02

SARAH WILLIAMS • She is an active volunteer with the local Greenpeace chapter. • She lives a sustainable lifestyle, using environmentally friendly products, conserving energy usage, and has been home composting for several years. • She feels the urgent need to raise public awareness about climate change so she participates in strikes and protests whenever she can. • She discusses issues she’s concerned about in her illustrations and attends print fairs to share both her art and ideas. • She shares many environment-related contents on her social media accounts. • She shops local because she wants to reduce waste created in the process of delivery. Age 25 Occupation Freelance Illustrator

• She enjoys reading editorials but she only subscribes to the digital version because she doesn’t want to create paper waste.

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Life

Visual Strategy Guide

The Pro PE RSO N A 03

THOMAS REED • As a travel photographer, he spends most of his time exploring new places. • He is especially intrigued by all kinds of living things that inhabit cities and towns because he thinks they make the world more lively. • He is passionate about his job because he feels like every time he takes a picture, he can capture a unique moment in the world. • He enjoys talking to strangers. He sees it as a good way to better understand the local culture. • He takes time to manage his social media presence because he works freelance and needs to market himself. • He teaches photography online for an art institute because he enjoys sharing experience and knowledge. Age 40 Occupation Photographer

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• He is learning Japanese at his leisure because he is interested in the culture and he thinks that language is a window to it.


02  Audience Profiles 

Audience Personas

The Voyager PE RSO N A 0 4

MARÍA DIEGO • She enjoys outdoor activities, especially hiking and skiing, because her job is stressful and she needs fresh air to recharge. • She lives in a state with more than one national park and she enjoys visiting them over long weekends. • She has a scuba-diving license and she wants to get a Go-Pro to take videos underwater. • When she takes longer breaks, she travels with her fiancé to explore new places and cultures. • She prefers staying at Airbnbs to hotels, feeling that the former will make her experience more immersive. • She subscribes to several travel magazine newsletters because she enjoys reading articles on travel and culture-related topics. Age 28 Occupation Legal Assistant

• She uses Pinterest to save her travel ideas because the website’s visual-heavy nature evokes her eagerness to visit those places.

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Life

Visual Strategy Guide

The Reader PE RSO N A 0 5

K ATHERINE SMITH • She used to be a Life Magazine subscriber because she appreciated the magazine’s efforts in helping people to see the world. • She is an avid news reader and broadcast listener because she wants to stay current with the world. • In recent years, she enjoys listening to podcasts and appreciates the convenience of technology. • She teaches English in a local middle school because she is stimulated by interacting with young people. • She enjoys joining the discussion regarding contents she reads or watches online. • She has a “conversation starter” badge attached to her account in her favorite Facebook group, which focuses on sharing fond memories about her city. Age 68 Occupation Teacher

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• She is concerned about her grandkids. She thinks they are obsessed with the Internet but not getting enough meaningful information from it.


02  Audience Profiles 

Audience Personas

The Organizer PE RSO N A 0 6

GABRIEL MILLER • She owns an independent bookstore that has served the community for more than three decades. She took over the business from its founder a few years ago hoping to keep it in the neighborhood. • She feels sad seeing a lot of local businesses closing their doors in recent years and she hopes to act upon it. • She took a lease on another venue to hold both book events and other kinds of events. • She mostly partners with small businesses, community associations, and non-profits to organize various events, but she feels the need to go beyond that. • She enjoys meeting new people through events she helps to organize.

Age 39 Occupation Local Business Owner

• She always talks to customers in the bookstore and tries to greet returning ones by their names. • Her partner is a gallery curator, who connects her with the artist community. She organizes a shelf in her bookstore to sell artwork from local artists.

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Life

Visual Strategy Guide

The Busy Bee PE RSO N A 07

ZIY U WANG • She works as a tech lead in a tech startup because they made the best offer when she finished her master’s degree three years ago. • Her schedule is always packed with meetings so she has to work overtime regularly. • Despite the stressful workload, she plans to stick with her current employer for the sake of her working visa. • When she gets the chance to enjoy some personal time, she plays video games and watches video game contests for a short escape from the pressure in her life. • She goes on road trips with friends now and then, but it’s getting harder to set up a time as she’s too busy. • Besides visiting her family overseas, she only travels for industry conferences. Age 29 Occupation Product Developer

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• Even though she enjoys trying out new restaurants, she often ends up getting her country’s food to satisfy her cravings.


02  Audience Profiles 

Audience Personas

The New Dad PE RSO N A 0 8

ADAM BURG • He barely has any personal time or quality sleep since the birth of his daughter, but he and his wife are embracing their new role as parents. • His wife has returned to work recently after her maternity leave. To save some costs from hiring a full-time nanny, he has started to work from home more often. • He values his bonding time with the baby, so he currently prefers family-friendly events to date nights with his wife. • He uses grocery delivery services because neither he nor his wife has time for shopping. • He moved to a suburb a year ago because he prefers a simpler and more quiet neighborhood. • He joined a new parents’ support group in his community because he wants to learn more about parenting. Age 32 Occupation Tech Support Specialist

• During his leisure time, he enjoys watching Sci-Fi movies and series on Netflix.

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03  Visual Tone Evolution 

03

Visual Tone Evolution 4 0 – 41

WHAT WE WERE LIKE 42– 45

WHAT WE WILL BE

39


Life

Visual Strategy Guide

WHAT WE WERE LIKE

40


03  Visual Tone Evolution 

What We Were Like

Life used to be confined and mundane. People’s lives were between work and home.

LIFE

41


Life

Visual Strategy Guide

Let’s be out there and see the world in person, not from the comfort of our homes 42


03  Visual Tone Evolution 

What We Will Be

Brands have personalities, just like people do. The old Life looks and feels confined and settled. People were limited by their time and the easiest way to see the world was to buy a printed magazine. Life is going beyond our old visual tone, which is dated. In the future, Life will be lively and adventurous. Our new visual tone will represent the inspiring experience out there in the world.

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Life

Visual Strategy Guide

WHAT WE WILL BE

Life

44


03  Visual Tone Evolution 

What We Will Be

Life will be eye-opening and adventurous. People can go see life themselves and be inspired by their experience.

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04  Brand Competitors 

04

Brand Competitors 48 – 49

CURRENT COMPETITORS 5 0 – 51

ADJACENT COMPETITORS 52 – 53

FUTURE COMPETITORS

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Life

Visual Strategy Guide

CURRENT COMPETITORS

Life’s current competitors are American magazines that focus on journalism, commentary, celebrity stories and/or have an emphasis on photography. Life differentiates itself by focusing on human life around the world and inspiring people to go see life themselves.

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04  Brand Competitors 

Current Competitors

01

02

03

Look was a biweekly, generalinterest magazine published from 1937 to 1971, with more of an emphasis on photographs than articles.

People is an American weekly magazine of celebrity and human interest stories. It has the largest audience among all American magazines.

The New Yorker is a magazine that features journalism, commentary, criticism, essays, fiction, satire, cartoons, and poetry.

04

05

06

Time is an American weekly news magazine and news website that was originally run by Henry Luce.

Newsweek is an American weekly news magazine. It provides indepth analysis, news and opinion about international issues, technology, business, culture and politics.

Collier’s magazine was a popular American magazine of literature and journalism that was known for investigative journalism and social reform-seeking values.

07

08

09

Vanity Fair is a magazine of popular culture, fashion, and current affairs published by Condé Nast in the U.S.

The Atlantic covers news, politics, culture, technology, health, and more, through its articles, podcasts, videos, and flagship magazine.

National Geographic publishes richly illustrated articles and photographs about science, geography, history, and world culture. It was one of the first magazines to reproduce color photographs.

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Life

Visual Strategy Guide

ADJACENT COMPETITORS

Life’s adjacent competitors are newspapers, broadcasters, and TV channels that allow people to stay updated with current events and get to know about the world around them. It is important to understand the other traditional ways people use to see the world, which Life will move beyond.

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04  Brand Competitors 

Adjacent Competitors

01

02

03

BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) is a British public service broadcaster. It is the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees.

CNN (Cable News Network) is an American news-based pay television channel. CNN was the first television channel to provide 24-hour news coverage upon ts launch.

USA Today is an internationally distributed American daily, middlemarket newspaper. It is printed at 37 sites across the U.S. and at five additional sites internationally.

04

05

06

NBC (National Broadcasting Company) is an American Englishlanguage commercial terrestrial television network.

CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System) is an American English language commercial broadcast television and radio network.

The Washington Post is a major American daily newspaper with a particular emphasis on national politics and the government.

07

08

09

The New York Times is an American newspaper with worldwide influence and readership. Founded in 1851, the paper has won 127 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper.

Discovery Channel is an American pay television network and flagship channel. It provides various educationally based shows aimed at helping viewers learn about the world around them.

Huffpost is an American news and opinion website and blog, with localized and international editions. In 2012, it became the first commercially run United States digital media enterprise to win a Pulitzer Prize.

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Life

Visual Strategy Guide

ASPIRATIONAL COMPETITORS

Life’s future competitors are brands that provide platforms, services, and content that inspire people to see the world and share their experiences. The new Life takes inspirations from both the spirit of these brands and their ways of using technology and user-generated content to achieve the missions.

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04  Brand Competitors 

Aspirational Competitors

01

02

03

TED Conferences LLC (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is an American media organization that posts talks online for free distribution under the slogan “ideas worth spreading”.

Medium is an online publishing platform. It is an example of social journalism, having a hybrid collection of amateur and professional people and publications, or exclusive blogs or publishers.

Instagram is a photo and videosharing social networking service that emphasises mobile use and visual sharing.

04

05

06

Flickr is an image hosting service and video hosting service that provides a free service for users to share their photos online with other people.

Airbnb is an online marketplace that provides a platform for hosts to accommodate guests with short-term lodging and tourismrelated activities.

TripAdvisor is a travel and restaurant website company that shows hotel and restaurant reviews, accommodation bookings and other travel-related content. It also includes interactive travel forums.

07

08

09

Afar is a publication focused on experiential travel. The company also operates a non-profit foundation providing scholarships for educational journeys for students.

Journey creates impact travel experiences. Their projects take travelers on a journey into service, self-growth, community, adventure and fun by weaving volunteering into traveling.

The United Nations Volunteers program is a United Nations organization that contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide.

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Life

Visual Standards Guide

WHAT’S NEXT

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What’s Next

Now that we’ve completed the fundamental research and worked out our brand strategy, we will move forward to create a new visual identity system for Life. Please refer to our visual development guide to see our logo design process for the new Life.

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Life

Visual Strategy Guide

COLOPHON D E S I G N + STR ATE G Y Yijing Yan D I SCL A I M E R This is a student project, is meant to be transformative in nature, and was created in the spirit of academic fair use. This book is not intended to represent the parent brand in any way. I M AG E SOU RCE images.google.com/hosted/life time.com/photography/life originallifemagazines.com unsplash.com pexel.com moma.org T Y POG R A PH Y Muli Zilla Slab

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VISUAL STRATEGY GUIDE

Profile for Yijing Yan

Life – Visual Strategy Guide // GR604 Student Project  

DISCLAIMER This is a student project, is meant to be transformative in nature, and was created in the spirit of academic fair use. This book...

Life – Visual Strategy Guide // GR604 Student Project  

DISCLAIMER This is a student project, is meant to be transformative in nature, and was created in the spirit of academic fair use. This book...

Profile for yijingyan
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