New Work: Berkeley-Haas Magazine
Pentagram Austin has redesigned the official publication of the prestigious Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. The magazine, which goes out to 40,000 alumni, faculty and students, was formerly known as CalBusiness but has announced its new name, Berkeley-Haas magazine, with the launch of the completely revamped publication this week.
“Cal” is shorthand for the University of California, Berkeley, and the nickname for its athletic teams. The first issue of CalBusiness came out in 1986, before the business school was renamed Haas in 1989. “We thought the publication’s title was a missed branding opportunity,” says Pentagram Austin partner DJ Stout. “To insiders the moniker CalBusiness may be clearly identifiable as a magazine published by UC Berkeley, and there’s no doubt that it is about business, in California, but the publication, which is the Business School’s most visible and effective pieces of communication, was doing a lousy job of getting the Haas name out there front and center.”
In addition to changing the longstanding title of the magazine, Stout and lead designer, Stu Taylor, completely reimagined the publication’s content and its overall look and feel to better reflect the institution’s four defining principles: Student Always, Beyond Yourself, Confidence Without Attitude, and Question the Status Quo. “The former CalBusiness was definitely not living up to that last lofty principal,” says Stout. “One of my favorite magazines at the moment is Bloomberg Businessweek, which does an outstanding job of questioning the status quo. That weekly publication manages to make business exciting and vital and they don’t have the luxury of a lot of lead time or resources. They do it through great editing and art direction and they pull out every editorial storytelling device they can think of. My mantra to the Berkeley-Haas team was that business doesn’t necessarily have to look like business. It can be visually stimulating and at times irreverent—even humorous.”
The launch issue of the new Berkeley-Haas magazine is a good case in point. The cover features Haas alumnus John Foraker, the CEO of Annie’s, a leading purveyor of organic and natural convenience foods, which just went public, playfully shoving a giant spoonful of gooey macaroni and cheese into his mouth. The headline accompanying the purposely non-corporate image of the business executive is “Cheese Wiz.” The special “Food Issue” continues the comfort-food theme with a feature on L.A. super-chef and food entrepreneur Eric Greenspan, who has managed to reinvent the humble grilled cheese. The story features a full-page photograph of one of his towering sandwiches, called “The Champ” because it won the 2008 Grilled Cheese Invitational. Greenspan’s cheesy creation also elevates the price of the American classic to a new level. “These two food features are perfect examples of how business schools can feature interesting and even lighthearted subjects in their publications,” says Stout. “But don’t get me wrong, there is some serious business, and profitability, going on with these two enterprises.”
Project Team: DJ Stout, partner-in-charge and designer; Stu Taylor, designer.