Logging is more than a job. It’s a lifestyle. And what better way for a brand to prove its understanding of its customers than to celebrate their work and accomplishments? While there are still product ads and messages to customers from management, FUEL followed instinct to break with conventional industrial dealer magazines by going with a format driven by feature stories rather than one that’s cover-to-cover machines. The result? A trade magazine designed to connect with loggers on their terms.
FUEL’s goal with every issue remains to style each story in a way that’s reflective of the team’s experience on the ground with each customer. Each editorial design is custom tailored to fit the feature to a “T”.
The storytelling dives into the experiences of John Deere Forestry customers while also giving the readers a look into their lives outside of work. Collectively, this demonstrates a clear understanding of who they are as people as much as what they do for a living.
Pace is important to the overall flow of content throughout any publication. Here, photography creates the visual foundation while smart editorial illustrations are mixed in to further the concept or serve as a change of pace.
Symbols, typography, and an extended color palette add variety to the presentation, page after page.
To maintain continuity from one issue to the next, FUEL designed consistent feature headers with a flexible page layout and supporting elements such as callouts, pull-quotes, and sidebars.
Each series of custom editorial illustrations brings a layer of variety and personality to every feature story. This allowed FUEL designers to push the conceptual approach of the layouts, while also enhancing stories that may have been light on available photography assets to pull from.
While John Deere’s brand type kit is evident throughout every issue, The Landing afforded plenty of freedom with typography that visually support the storylines. Each were evaluated for alignment with brand traits to maintain a coherent and consistent presentation. Some typefaces were even modified by FUEL designers to heighten the styling.
Photography throughout each issue featured John Deere customers and their logging worksites in the American South, Southeast and Pacific Northwest, and locations throughout Canada. FUEL designers provided art direction to professional photographers and videographers (including drone operators), and occasionally captured video and stills on their own.
The objective was to document the logger lifestyle, their machines, and the various techniques and applications they utilize to be successful in the forests and landscapes native to their region.
Bill Bollman is FUEL’s Creative Director. Before co-founding FUEL in 2001, he worked for Horizon Communications, JW Morton and Basler Design Group. Bill studied Illustration at Hawkeye Tech in Waterloo, Iowa. An expert in the “old ways” of hands-on print production, these skills influence his work in the digital world to this day. His work throughout his career has been featured in international publications including Graphis, How International Design, Communication Arts, and The One Book as well as numerous design annuals and reference books.