Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

This Month: 417

Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

This Month: 417

Article excerpt

REGIONAL MAGAZINE 417, covering the southern Missouri area, created a "best-of" issue that parodies Milton Bradley's 1960's LIFE (aka, The Game of Life).

"In years past, we've branded our logo and done cool openers to display this category breakdown. But this time we decided to take a concept--The Game of Life--and transfer it into 'The Game of 417,'" says art director Cassie Darst. While ultimately it was decided to stick with all of the categories integrated into a LIFE game board, "Our original plan was to create a different board game for each category; the 'best of' food category would be a take on Candy Land, 'best of' shopping a play on Mall Madness, etc."

To create a game board mock up, Darst says that 417 "literally created from scratch a replica of LIFE--double the size." The board, which is larger than seen on the magazine's cover, includes all of the five sections of the "best of" winners, including Services, Food, People, Places and Shopping, with creative categories brainstormed by editorial. "The name corresponds to an actual action," adds Darst. "For Best Charity Event, for example, the board says 'Spice things up at the Sertoma Chili Cook-Out.'"

In order to add authenticity to the board, editorial director Bethany Lohmeyer created landmarks, clay models of people, spray painted matchbox cars and made a clay replica of Hammonsfield Ballpark (top left of cover), a popular Springfield, Missouri baseball field. "The clay figurines only took about 10 minutes each to make," she says.

To make the board game, Darst estimates a total cost around $30, which included the modeling clay, paint and supplies. "We asked the staff if someone had LIFE at home that we could use, and they did, so we didn't even need to buy the game," says Darst. 417 expanded this cover concept throughout the issue, with the staff creating many elements on the fly: "We didn't scan anything; we literally recreated everything by hand. …

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