If you receive our print magazine or frequent our website, you're sure to have noticed a bit of a change. Our brand has just recently undergone a redesign, and we're more than happy with the way it turned out. There were a lot of moving parts, but with an amazing team on board, we produced a redesigned magazine issue that we are very proud of, design- and content-wise, and we hope you're just as stoked too. Moving forward, we have some amazing things up our sleeves, and we can't wait to show you all that we have coming your way. Scroll through this page to get a peak inside our Spring 2017 issue as well as some testimonials from the team that made it possible.
Garrett Cortese, Editorial Director:
"I joined the team here at Bonnier in January and knew right away that one of my first tasks was going to be a content vision and strategy for WATERSKI. I knew we had to try some different things with both the content and design of the magazine because it had been reduced to two issues per year. Knowing that readers would be getting less of the magazine, I wanted to create a product that would have a large and lasting impact. I wanted a magazine that could sit on the coffee table and have a long shelf life – something that would both draw readers in and bring them back for a second, third, or fourth look.
I also wanted readers to know that WATERSKI was a priority. Coming from a career strictly in wakeboarding, I didn't want to be seen as the editor of WAKEBOARDING mag just treating WATERSKI as an afterthought. Fortunately we hired a guest editor who could speak the language and deliver content readers could both trust and enjoy. Trent Finlayson did a great job leading the charge, and his editorial ideas and vision lined up perfectly with what I believed the magazine needed. Combined with the direction art director Michael Forrest wanted to take, we felt from the get-go we were creating something new and special.
Through it all, our common goal was to create a magazine that invoked the feeling of fun that comes with water skiing and being out on the water in general. It's a feeling every reader of WATERSKI knows, but we wanted to reiterate it with every opportunity possible.
I knew the new logo and redesigned look of the magazine might be a shock to some of the longtime readers, but all of it was done with critical intention and those readers in mind. The different logo and black and white image might be a shock to some who have been reading WATERSKI for decades, but the image of Freddie Winter on the cover is as timeless as a water skiing photo can get. There is both awe and comfort in an image like that. That comfort can help balance the imbalance that might be felt upon seeing a new logo and layout.
I'm really proud of how the whole issue turned out and what it all represents. There is a long, storied legacy with WATERSKI, and I believe this new look not only lives up to that, but is a great step forward into the future. My hope is that the new WATERSKI not only has the impact we were looking for with readers, but even opens some new eyes to the joy and beauty that comprise the sport we all love and cover."
Trent Finlayson, Guest Editor:
"When I was approached by WATERSKI magazine to serve as guest editor for the first issue of 2017, I was beyond excited. To be able to take the reins and steer us in a new direction has long been a dream of mine. Alongside Garrett, I feel we were able to make our vision materialize on the pages of the new issue. I couldn't be prouder of the end product."
Mike Forrest, Art Director:
"Unlike the rest of the team, I came into this project with little to no experience in the water sports industry. I believe this really benefited the process of research, crafting a visual narrative, and in the end, executing an editorial design unlike any of its predecessors. For me, great design is design that connects to all senses of our emotions. It identifies a problem, recognizes all sides, offers a solution, and in turn inspires a response or action.
I took it upon myself to get out of my own context and put myself in the audiences living rooms, docks and boats simply to observe. Through a few conversations with fans at events, industry photographers and even professional athletes, two things became abundantly clear: (1) there is a particular sense of cynicism about the current climate and unknown future of waterskiing, and (2) at the end of the day, even amidst any negativity, there is nothing quite like waterskiing – the love of the sport, of being on the water, of being with family, and the sense of community.
That last part was huge, and I immediately realized the underlying challenge for this redesign. How can we interpolate those emotions and sentiments visually? How do we evoke the feeling of gliding across a glassy lake at dawn or remembering the golden days of show skiing at Cypress Gardens or when Grandpa and his goofy brothers would barefoot tandem? Our mission became to speak to that lifestyle of the sport that the previous volumes were lacking in...
All in all, the creative approach I took is different than other WATERSKI redesign ideas in that it speaks more to the lifestyle and spirit of the culture that is water skiing rather than a technical, forward leaning, sharp edged, fast-forward morning set. Visually, a sense of nostalgia was necessary, but it could not be too dated as it had to reference the past while being relevant for today.
The new logo exudes confidence, tradition, elegance and trustworthiness by way of a typeface that is both modern and nostalgic in its anatomy. The layout followed suit, but also allowed for a sense of space and "silence" that could honor the inspirational photography of each athlete's athletic ability and honor the craft and innovation of our client's products.
This was an amazing opportunity and I am so honored to be a part of our brand's history. And though I do not get out on the water as much as I'd like, I'd like to consider myself as a tiny proud part of the community, and I can't wait to see what we will discover together in the coming chapters of our sport's story."
Ben Greenwood, Publisher:
"The redesign of WATERSKI is a great example of our commitment to the sport and the community of participants."