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In November, I got a
chance to work with an amazing team from SHAPE Community Life Magazine, which
is based on the American NATO base and located in Casteau, Wallonia. SHAPE
Community Life is an authorized unofficial magazine, published monthly by Base
Support Group. I was a part of the team and worked on the December’s issue of
the SCL magazine and an annual project called New Comers’ Guide. I have lived
on SHAPE for about six years and graduated from the local school. I know how
the community works and had some experience organizing and participating in
different events. My project with SCL started when I picked the new monthly
issue of the magazine this summer and thought, “Why don’t I do my In Company
project with them?”


Executive Summary and Challenges

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I have been always
interested in the work done by SHAPE Community Life because besides publishing
a magazine, their team maintains – local website,
organizes/participates in events, and deals with all advertisements presented
on base. One of the first obstacles that I faced was getting my emails read.
The first time I emailed in summer, I did not hear anything back. Later on, in
the late September, I emailed again, but have not received any response. In the
end, I decided to be proactive and I went to the editorial office and talked
face to face. In the beginning, the response was vague because they did not
know if they wanted me for such short period. However, in the end I got my
contract signed and started working on the project.

My project consisted of
two parts. The first part included formatting, editing, and designing the article
for SCL magazine, which is published every month. I worked on two articles. The
other part of my project was designing a new, dynamic layout for a Newcomers’ guide
2018. This guide is intended to facilitate the integration of the newcomers to
SHAPE Community and Belgium in general. It is the second authorized
unofficial magazine published by Base Support Group. It consists of different
sections such as Healthcare facility, Education, Housing and many others. I
started with working on the new design of the Newcomers’ Guide 2018. The second
challenge that I faced was the programs SCL uses for laying out and editing their
magazines. In the beginning, I did not know how to use Adobe InDesign and
Illustrator. I spent two – three days learning and getting familiar with the
programs. It seemed impossible at first; however, as I worked more I found it
very easy. I was impressed by the amount of amazing manipulations, which could
be done using these programs and a little effort.

My first task included finding the
ideas of lay outs that could be used throughout the guide as well as coming up
with common fonts.


Above I inserted some
ideas I found for different sections of the guide. On the second picture, I
came up with different fonts for the first title, second title, the main text,
etc. After that, my boss, Madame Tezanos checked out my ideas and decided on
what she liked. At that point, I was familiar with the software and the
layouts, fonts were approved. Therefore, I was ready to start changing the guide.
 In total, I have redesigned seven
sections for the guide. The sections were Arts & Crafts, Education, SHAPE
Band, Housing, SHAPE Language Center, “Morale, Welfare, and Recreational
Activities” and SHAPE Sports.


I will show the process or redesigning the three sections:












On the left, you can
see the 2017’Th version of the guide. On the right, I tried to show
the process of redesigning the section. In reality, it was more than just two
steps. I had to make changes about 4 – 5 times per section because when you are
making a 70-page magazine, every little detail matters

other sections in the guide redesigned by me:
















in the SHAPE Community Life Magazine (for December issue):

The December’s issue of
Community Life Magazine with the two articles above was published one day ago
and I got a chance to see the results of my work. The New Comers’ Guide’18 will
be published in January. I consider my training as a great experience because I
did learn many useful things. I also practiced speaking French. One of the
biggest obstacles in creating the lay out of the guide was to keep in mind that
I need to leave space for advertisement or “publicity” – the way my colleagues
called it. This year I had to email and call to ask for the advertisement
updates. Some people would email back, while others would not even pick up the
phone. It is challenging designing a lay out when you are not sure how much
space you need to leave out for the ads. Therefore, all the empty spaces in the
guide are meant to be filled out with the new ads.


Overall, I am satisfied
with what I have done. If I had another chance, I would ask for longer period
of time because I did feel like I could have done a lot more if I had another
week. It takes a while getting familiar with all the work the company is doing
as well as getting used to your colleagues, and figuring out your boss’
preferences. The articles go through multiple checks before they are finalized
and published. This is something that seemed to me a lot easier before I got
into work. What is the relevance to the
business? The magazine is a business itself. By publishing various
advertisements, it earns money. Usually magazines also make money by selling
their issues. However, I have completed my project in a non-profit magazine.
Everyone on base gets a magazine for free. I learned the difference about
classified ads and other ads. Classified ads are the small advertisements or
announcements, which the customer asks to place in a specific space and it
usually appears monthly. In SHAPE Community Life, the classifieds represented
the car company. These cars are sold right outside of base. Other advertisement
allows the magazine to fill out any empty space. In addition, SHAPE Community
Life ads are targeted. Restaurants, hotels, shops in Wallonia know very well
that people on SHAPE come from different places. Some newcomers from the United
States do not bring their cars to Europe and this is when car ads are handy.
Often, as the newcomers arrive, they do not necessarily have a place to live
right away, so they live in the hotel. There is a hotel close to SHAPE, which
proposes special prices for the “shapians”. 

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