I love boating. It is a lifelong passion having spent many summers on northern Lake Michigan. I am slowly turning this passion for boating and the marine industry into business and have had the pleasure of working with Chris-Craft, a Sarasota, boat builder—one of the oldest and most prestigious names in pleasure boating. This collaboration has lead to more marine client relationships, such as the Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum, Nelson Boatworks, and Van Ness Engineering.
The Brass Bell, is an upscale, niche quarterly, targeted at antique and classic boating enthusiasts. In just a couple of years we have taken this publication from a commodity-grade 32-page newsletter to a 96-page work of art.
The Brass Bell is printed on recycled stock, using soy-based inks and minimal aqueous coating. The issues are perfect bound, and are mailed to all 50 U.S. states, and over 30 countries worldwide.
The Brass Bell has a decidedly vintage look, courtesy of custom-drawn typefonts, dingbats, borders and patterns. Masthead typography features handcrafted letterforms based on actual deco typography samples.
The Brass Bell is a perfect example of electronic design workflow. There is no wasted paper or toner printing process used on the design of the issues. Workflow is PDF based—low res PDFs for commenting and approvals, high res PDFs for final output. The magazine is typically preflighted, ripped, soft-proofed, approved, and on press within 24 hours of forwarding artwork to the printer.
Designing a high-end niche quarterly can be a grind at times, but it is very gratifying to see design play a key role in actually advancing the niche.
You’ll see a lot more of The Brass Bell in days ahead.