25 January 2008

[design, news_design] Birth Pangs of a Color Publication

1285. The new edition of the Sierra Club Columbia Group's quarterly, the Columbia Overlook, has hit the mailboxes and should be arriving in Club member's mailboxes any day now.

I attended the mailing party at the Group's offices out at 30th and Stark last night, and it's an interesting place to be. Thanks to the tender mercies of graveyard-shift weekend work it's typically not in the cards to attend most Group activities. I believe in what the Sierra Club advocates for, however, and this volunteer activity allows me to give back in a way that really makes it real for me and (I like to think) provides a service that is very much needed. It's a win-win-win.

All We Gotta Do is, Talk Talk

The biggest challenge here was, just as in every distributed operation, is communication. Jeff, who's been involved with the club for a very long time (one other thing that always impresses me about Sierra Club members is the commitment they have to this group and its cause) and has agreed to become the Overlook editor and did the yeoman's job in getting me the information I needed. Until now, the Overlook has mailed as an insert to the Oregon Chapter's Oregon Conifer, so we didn't have to worry about making the issues mailable. Now, we did.

The give and take in the e-mail-channel was pretty brisk at times. But as long as the channel stayed open and active we were able to hammer things out. Jeff liaised with the post office (if it doesn't fly with them, it doesn't fly – period) and gave me feedback as quickly as he could.

In the end, through the mailing back and forth of questions and PDFs we got the address block in the right place and the labels all went on on Wednesday.

Power Windows ... In Color

The issue put to bed, I'm looking forward to what Jeff has in store for the developing of the Overlook. It's always been a good source of information for Sierra Club members locally, now it's going to be even better. Any Sierra Club publication is distinguished by gorgeous photography ... the members have an eye for the beautiful and the picturesque. Any publication is made more exciting with pictures, and with color it comes alive with a shout. Next to the mailing label in this issue is a couple of beautiful pictures, on from Jeff of Mount Hood from an outing to Trillium Lake in February 2007; another is looking up through the trees in Hoyt Arboretum.

The Overlook carries the Sierra Club message; the color photos underline it and put a big bang on the end.

If you want a good look at what the evolving new Columbia Overlook looks like, follow this link directly to a PDF of the Winter 2008 issue (it's about 670 KiB). I'm proud of it, we worked out some beginning issues and we'll be working out more, and I think editor Jeff is wanting to evolve this into something quite exciting.

Think about joining the Sierra Club too if you care about the world around you. They're good, smart, committed people doing something terribly, terribly, necessary. You don't have to be a member to go out on an outing or volunteer – they'll gladly welcome the help.

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