Collaboration key to multi-faceted 70-page Door County tourism publication
Working with a client for 15 years can have its pros and cons, but when you work in such a collaborative environment it leads to some great products. That’s exactly what the 15th edition of the Destination Sturgeon Bay Activity Guide is… a great product that was developed during an extremely collaborative process.
“Since 2006, Signalfire has enjoyed a close partnership with Destination Sturgeon Bay,” says Matthew Olson, Signalfire’s Founder and President. “I designed our first edition while working in my basement. Both organizations grew together.”
Signalfire has partnered with Destination Sturgeon Bay in many capacities, but every year we have worked with the destination marketing team to design, populate, edit, and produce their activity guide.
Starting the Activity Guide
The process starts with members of Signalfire meeting with the DSB team to discuss new and updated content they would like added to the activity guide. The group also discusses design updates, page layout changes, new cover options, and the organization of the activity guide.
After the initial meeting, the DSB team writes and gathers article content, images, a cover photo, map content, member ads, and member listing updates. That’s when the designers at Signalfire start placing and organizing the activity guide content. It’s one big team effort to get all the content gathered and organized.
Working with Tourism Members for Content
DSB’s activity guide is a tourism publication featuring member listings, member ads, area maps, and articles with various topics promoting the Sturgeon Bay Area.
“It’s important to design the guide so it’s easy to follow with information that is helpful for tourists while getting them excited to visit Sturgeon Bay,” Signalfire graphic designer Jodi Heisz said.
As all the content and information for the activity guide come in from the DSB team, Signalfire ads it to the layout and sends proofs in multiple stages for DSB and their members to review.
“Communication with the client is a vital part of the process to make sure everything runs smoothly, and to get the content we need to finish the project on time,”Signalfire Graphic Designer, Jodi Heisz
Once the activity guide is finalized, Signalfire works with a Wisconsin-based printer to ensure everything enters production properly. Signalfire even carries the member updates and content onto Destination Sturgeon Bay’s website (also developed by Signalfire). The printing vendor even digitizes the final product into an online flipbook.
For the last 15 years, DSB and Signalfire have put out some of the most beautiful and engaging tourism guides in the Midwest.
Are Printed Tourism Booklets Falling Out of Style?
“Believe it or not,” says Olson. “No! Travelers are still looking for an in-hand guide to local businesses and attractions. Despite the rise of travel apps and detailed websites, travel destinations still see strong demand for a printed piece.”
While print is changing, there is still strong demand for communities to create engaging travel guides similar to Sturgeon Bay’s.