Not So Taxing
Not only can the "t" word—as taxes are referred to by Sharon Cranford, managing editor of the EA Journal—strike fear in the hearts of many, the topic itself can be a bit boring. So, two years ago, when the journal's freelance artist took a job elsewhere, circumstances dictated that it was time to update the bi-monthly publication read by more than 10,000 members of the National Association of Enrolled Agents (www.naea.org). Remembering that a neighbor of hers owned a graphic design firm in the Washington, D.C. area, Cranford called him to see if he would take on the project.
It's a family affair
Dick Rabil, principle of Rabil & Bates Design Company, was happy to design the EA Journal, but he had some concerns about its layout. "After looking through the magazine, Dick told me 'you have some great stuff in here, but no one would know it,'" she recalls. He suggested a redesign, an idea that Cranford quickly accepted.
While Cranford only had to look next door to find a new graphic designer, it turns out that by coincidence Dick Rabil's brother was subsequently named the journal's account executive by printer AGS. "Alan [Rabil] brought us wonderful ideas—ways to publish the magazine more efficiently, make it look better and go to four-color." With the right people in place, the EA Journal underwent a transformation that took place over two years.
The work paid off. In February of this year, the EA Journal won honorable mention in the professional society magazine category at Association Trends' 2001 publications contest. The honor is bestowed upon those journals that best demonstrate quality and creativity in association publishing.
A long distance relationship that works
The fruits of their labor is no accident, but rather is thanks to the communication the magazine's design firm and printer share. "AGS has always done beautiful work, but since the hire of Rabil & Bates, there is seamless communication between design firm and printer," enthuses Cranford. "They work so well together, it really is a joy."