Duke Rec & P.E. Department Guide
Duke Recreation & Physical Education reimagined their semesterly program guide, which resulted in the introduction of an overarching department guide in August 2021. Learn more about the brainstorming during the initial stages of the process, gain insight into the design process, and see all images of the department guide below.
In the past, Duke Recreation & Physical Education would produce a semesterly program guide that contained all programs and details for each semester. Often, program specifics would need to be adjusted after production, resulting in the program guide having out-of-date or incorrect information. Also, the production of these semesterly guides was an intensive process from gathering program details in a timely manner to designing the 30-40 page guide to ensuring proper edits/review before being sent to print.
Due to these reasons and also from a budget-friendly standpoint, the decision was made to switch to a general department guide that could be used continuously throughout the year.
Around this time, the department's program registration site, MyRec, was starting to be used heavily for program input. This site now contained all programs and their date, times, locations, etc. This further confirmed the need to no longer have a printed program guide with those details since users were going straight to MyRec to view that information.
The idea behind this guide was to create something that served as a general overview and introduction to the department with direction on where to go next to continue to learn more about Duke Rec & P.E., whether that was the website, MyRec program portal, or social media.
To get to this final idea, a process started with a focus group of a representative from each area in the department. The idea was to represent the specific area while also thinking about the department as a whole.
Around the same time of forming this focus group, the department created 'Together We Rec' to be used as a hashtag and department identifier. This phrase was based around the idea of building a community around recreation, wellbeing, and healthy habits. This new phrase was the inspiration for the theme of the department guide.
Relating back to the theme of 'Together We Rec', the focus group brainstormed additional words that could replace 'Rec" in the phrase to represent the various areas of the department. Once those words were established, members of the focus group used the words that were not chosen to begin writing the content of the guide. Each blurb in the guide starts off with an action word chosen from that secondary list to engage and connect the reader. Following that is a brief introduction to the various program areas and their offerings.
Each area name is visually called out in the sections using the color that is designated to them from a department branding standpoint. To ensure consistency and connection, that color is also used as the border of the picture associated with that area. When choosing photographs, diversity and showcasing action were two main factors looked for.
The guide also contains photos and information for the two facilities, information on how to become a member, and QR Codes to the MyRec program portal and to download the mobile version of MyRec (MyRec Mobile).
The design of the guide features a die-cut cover, followed by a flap with a pocket and business card cutout. To ensure these features could be properly produced, Rec & P.E.'s Marketing team met with a local printer to talk through the project and send it off to print.
While the guides were in production, the Marketing team worked on inserts that would fit in the pocket of the guide. The idea behind these was to provide the next step of detailed information about the various areas of the department. These were designed using a similar feel to the guide and were produced in-house to allow for ease of printing and sustainable. Each area's insert was printed on a different color paper, relating to their designated area color that is shown in the guide.
The first batch of department guides was produced in August 2021 and used for the first time at various orientation events for the Fall 2021 semester. Along with the guides, the first set of inserts was also introduced at this time. As a bonus item at these events, a 'Together We Rec' sticker that used the same background as the guide was made and ordered to be handed out to the campus community.
Since the initial rollout, many inserts have been printed in-house, the stickers are used for various giveaway purposes, and the main department guide still holds strong. A year later, before the start of Fall 2022, a review of those items took place and Duke Rec & P.E.'s Marketing team was pleased that very little information had changed on the inserts and none had changed on the guide, meaning the guides succeeded in being a long-standing item that could be used continuously to promote the department.