Each fall semester, Information Design students in their fourth year enroll in a capstone course known as Document Production. The main requirement of the Document Production course is to have the students work together to imagine, create, and publish a professional magazine within a span of three months. The class magazine project is considered to be one of the largest and most important projects of the Information Design program at MRU. At the end of the fall semester, an event is held to reveal and launch the finished magazine.
The planning and development for the class magazine spanned over two courses: Document Production I and II. In Document Production I, each of the students submitted a proposal for the idea for the magazine. Students were then placed into their preferred teams (social media, style guide, assignment editors, launch, project management, text editors, art directors, etc.). The theme and concept was voted upon and chosen towards the end of Document Production I. As the students returned in the fall for Document Production II, they proposed and picked a title and a front cover that is representative of the chosen concept. Articles were assigned by the assignment editors, in which each student was to conduct interviews and research in order to write cohesive, well-written articles. The articles went under multiple edits in order to ensure all content is correct and fine-tuned. Spreads were then developed to match and contribute to the integrity of the article, based on the art direction and style guide teams. The spreads were improved upon through class critiques. The magazine is sent to the printing company to set up the document properly, proofread, and print it. The launch party was also planned during the course of the magazine production, and executed once the magazine was published.
Through the process of creating a comprehensive magazine and planning a successful launch event, the students learned a variety of things that could be applied in the real world. These include, but not limited to, managing projects through work breakdown structures, interviewing, CP style editing and writing, providing and receiving feedbacks, working with groups under tight deadlines and high pressure, managing time, and being professional. What the students learned could also be passed down as advice to the next batch of students creating the next class magazine. After all, it has been a strong tradition for nine years, ever since the first Document Production class magazine known as CUSP was published in 2011.