Stephen Cook on the redesign of Third Sector

The redesign of Third Sector is an essential element in the
expansion of the magazine from 18 to 26 editorial pages as it begins to
reach beyond chief executives and senior managers in the voluntary
sector to a wider audience of policymakers, Parliamentarians and the
business community.

The challenge was to create a flexible
framework which does justice to the dynamism and diversity of the
non-profit world by relating the appearance of pages more closely to
the variety of their subject matter. Each one is bespoke rather than
off the peg.

At the same time, all the pages have become less
tight and busy, with a horizontal rather than a vertical emphasis. The
magazine is now one centimetre higher and wider, allowing for a greater
feeling of openness and accessibility in the pages and a bolder use of

Because there are more pages, the ‘signposting’ has
been improved, with a complete index to all sections on the front page
as well as highlights from the two or three best items of the week. On
page two there is a guide to organisations featured in each issue, and
there is extensive cross-referencing.

An example of the new
flexibility and differentiation comes in the specialist fundraising
pages, of which there are now three rather than two. The first is a
lively-looking news page, with three stories, a column of briefs and a
regular grants feature called How We Got The Money.

The second is
an analytical page, with a case study – complete with an expert second
opinion – of a fundraising campaign, supplemented with a digest of new
campaigns. This page is relatively text-heavy and offers a substantial

The third is a lighter, more pictorial page which focuses
on people. Celebrity Watch charts the activities of the famous in the
charity world, while Me And My Charity is a personal account of
donation and The Things They Do records the wackier side of fundraising.

important new page is Policy and Politics, designed to contain a range
of items in whatever combination is appropriate to the news: an
analysis, a profile, a question time, and a digest of what’s on in the
various UK legislatures.

The front page has a cool and classic
look and a masthead in a thicker, more substantial font. Third Sector
is the leading news magazine covering the voluntary sector. The effect
of the redesign is to give it a distinctive appearance to match its
growing authority.

The left hand page is designed to allow for a
detailed examination of a recent fundraising campaign, along with an
expert opinion of its effectiveness and a digest of new campaigns. By
contrast, the right-hand page is pictorial and focuses on people.

boxout of key information accompanies the weekly news analysis, while
the opposite page is anchored by a portrait of the person currently
making waves or causing headlines in the voluntary sector.

page: A redesigned masthead in a stronger, more authoritative font sets
the tone for a front page which is cool and classical, but includes a
substantial contents column to steer the reader round the edition.

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