From the Nominator
This special issue of New Trail magazine examined an issue that is in the DNA of the University of Alberta and—given the university’s location in the energy capital of Canada—is also a key issue for many of our alumni: the future of energy. The issue was timed to hit mailboxes around the same time as UAlberta launched energy systems as one of its three signature areas of research. To reflect the importance of the topic, the entire feature well showcased stories about energy research and conservation. The design challenge was to make a complex, often political, and tech-heavy topic of pipelines and smart grids and flywheels resonate with readers. This was achieved by presenting a variety of stories in diverse ways, textually and visually, and relating them to readers’ everyday lives. The goals were to: establish UAlberta as pre-eminent in the field of energy research; position UAlberta research as helping solve one of the world’s big problems; establish that this current research is a continuation of a long-standing history of work in this area; showcase in a balanced way the university’s work in energy research; and draw in the reader who didn’t really care about energy and make the topic feel engaging and accessible.
From the Judges
Not much was unanimous about this judging process, but this entry was a unifier. On a scale of one to five, one judge rated it a six. Another wrote: "Beautiful package of stories, gorgeously illustrated and well paced." We loved the brilliant cover/table of contents design concept; its execution was dramatic and exciting. This entry was a model of how to break down an enormous amount of information into attractive, digestible pieces. The blend of photography, illustration, and graphic elements kept the reader engaged. As a judge wrote of this surprising and, appropriately, powerful entry: "You've inspired inquisitiveness."