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Case Study: Designing Oneida County’s Travel Guide

Question for you. When you travel across the country and see a travel guide, do you pick one up? If you instinctively thought yes; is the reason because the guide is handy, and conveniently displayed on a rack that makes it so appealing?

Travel guides are popular, they highlight area events and activities, spotlight local history, and tempt you with regional cuisine. These guides essentially make traveling easier—providing a resource of need-to-know information when you need it.

As a Central New York business, IntreXDesign & Associates, Owner and Creative Director, Jeannine Papelino, welcomed this assignment to redesign the Oneida County Tourism Travel Guide for Upstate New York. Clearly it’s an extraordinary opportunity to highlight this area’s many attractions, and use my creative talent to contribute to this region’s economic growth.

A Creative Approach To Redesigning The Official Oneida County’s Travel Guide

Working on this project included Jeannine and the Tourism staff. Before the design began we identified two relevant objectives. First, we wanted to inspire local residents to discover surrounding counties. Second, we wanted to encourage tourist to spend time exploring the Central New York Area. To accomplish these objectives, we began with some noteworthy goals:

  • Add local factoids labeled, “Did You Know . . .” and “What To Know . . . ” to peak the reader’s interest;
  • Include more photos that feature area activities;
  • Redesign charts to provide helpful information like food service, number of rooms, and pool facilities;
  • Support local recruiters with a section entitled, “Things To Do in a Day” to encourage visitors to explore local counties

With the added content and new vision for the design, IntreXDesign & Associates proposed expanding the guide from 54-pages to 64-pages. To make this possible, our local print vendor, The Observer Dispatch, approved our request. The additional pages accommodated previous content, short articles, more photos, space for ads, redesigned charts, and our new goals.

Designing The Magazine Pages

The first step: designing a few inside pages to establish a template for the design. We selected the fonts using different sizes for the text and headers. We also established a grid to support the placement of text and photos. When the templates were completed they were presented to staff and board members for their review. Once the design was approved, the remaining sections of the guide were laid out to reflect the approved design.

The sunflower cover marked the 100th Anniversary in 2020 of the 19th Amendment—this gave women the right to vote. We used a photograph of sunflowers (iconic of the women’s movement) to mark this historical anniversary. This was chosen because Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a women’s right activist, wrote under the pseudonym “Sunflower.” This launched a selfie campaign and we encouraged visitors to participate in this year’s anniversary.

The second step: adding text and photos to layout. A graphic designer’s role is balancing the right amount of text and photos within a layout while adhering to the client’s approved design. Being creative is fundamental so each page looks different. The challenge is retaining aspects of the original template so the entire guide looks consistent. In this case, a mix between square and circle images were part of the design.

Likewise, silhouetting images were added throughout the layout. For the food section, we highlighted our local foods to make them noteworthy of our area. Altering the design among various pages adds diversity for interest; and still keeps the layout cohesive in format.

The third step is the creative piece: adding graphics, charts, and more photos. As the layout developed photos were chosen and special graphics like factoids were placed where they fit. All ads were place preferably in an area close to their associated industry. But they can be placed anywhere in the guide. Alterations to the charts were updated and revised. When sections were completed they were sent to client for proofing. Revisions and corrected pages were sent to parties throughout it’s production.

Fourth step: review and proofing of pages. IntreXDesign & Associates carefully reviewed the content’s typography and grammar, addressing any questions with Tourism to maintain a consistent text format throughout the guide. Once the guide was approved, IntreXDesign & Associates later worked with the Observer Dispatch Newspaper (OD) to prepare the project for printing.

Fifth step: preparing document and printing pages. The guide was sent electronically to the Observer Dispatch, and IntreXDesign & Associates checked and approved all pages. We adhered to the highest standards in our industry to ensure the Travel Guide’s printing went smoothly.

A Travel Guide For Tourist And Oneida County’s Community

At the onset of this project, we aimed for specific goals. The new travel guide needed to become a dual piece that served the community and tourist alike. The guide also had to be functional so the content was easy to find, and resourceful to read. We included social media hashtags in the guide to encourage community participation and launched a selfies campaign to mark this historical year. We achieved all our goals.

Embracing this opportunity was a privilege for IntreXDesign & Associates. Aside from the many projects on our website, the Oneida County Travel Guide was a very special project. It had always been Jeannine’s dream to design this travel guide; specifically to highlight her hometown area. “It’s my small contribution to support our local community; and highlight the numerous treasures this area has to offer our visitors.”

Thank you for the great work you did in designing the new guide and your attention to detail. We are very happy with the final product and how it represents our destination.
—Kelly Blazosky, President, Oneida County Tourism

 American Graphic Design Competition Gives National Award

In December 2020, Graphic Design USA, a national resource for creative and design professionals, recognized IntreXDesign & Associates, in their annual design competition for the redesign of the Official Oneida County Travel Guide. The competition honors large corporations, organizations, and design firms whose design work shapes commerce, culture, and causes.

IntreXDesign & Associates was the recipient of two national graphic design awards in this competition; and each piece was published in their annual magazine.

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