Storehouse is the official magazine of the NUA Students’ Union. Released twice per year, each edition is packed full of student work.
We showcase the diverse range of creative talent our university has to offer, reinventing the traditional student magazine and turn it into our own platform to promote and inspire future creatives.
We have designated teams to hone our specialist skills and collaborate in the most effective way possible, resulting in collective creative outcomes that highlight the talent our university has to offer. We’re always learning and always tweaking our methods, meaning we’re getting bigger and better with each issue of the magazine.
How we do it
As Storehouse becomes more and more known across NUA and Norwich and involves more and more people, some of the most frequently asked questions we get asked are; ‘How do you make Storehouse? How do you decide on the theme? Who does what? How is the cover chosen? How can I join?’ and the list goes on.
This is how we do it.
Deciding a theme
When we decide on a theme for Storehouse, as a team we look for words that students from any course at NUA could realistically submit any piece of work about. Themes tend to be quite broad – past themes have been ‘Contrast’, ‘Generation’, ‘Perception’ and ‘Progression’ to name a few. When we choose the theme, we never have any ideas about the kind of work we expect to receive. The first meeting of most new issues is devoted to the Storehouse team coming up with ideas for themes in their individual teams. The individual teams choose three or four of their favourite ideas, add these to the ideas from the other teams and then the whole team has a few days to vote on what the final theme should be.
Telling the world
Through social media, primarily Instagram, we show the world that Storehouse is much more than just a magazine and we create an online presence that is worthy of the publication’s success. We promote Storehouse through weekly Instagram posts, keeping our followers up to date with the magazine’s release. On our digital platforms we encourage the students to submit their work to Storehouse, letting them know the benefits of being featured in the magazine while also keeping them up to date with key dates such as the opening and closing of submissions. For this, we create a visual identity for each issue of Storehouse, in order to produce a promotional campaign that is consistent throughout videos, graphics, posters and the magazine itself.
Writing the submission brief
The submission brief is written to explain how the theme can be interpreted, what formats we can accept and directions on how to submit. We try to keep the brief as broad as possible, as we accept work from any course, any year and any form of media. From the submissions, a shortlist is made of potential covers and a winner is voted for by the whole team.
Checking the content
We work closely with the rest of the teams to decide on a closing date for submissions, this allows us time to process all of the work that we receive from the online submission forms found on the Storehouse website. At this point, the entirety of the Content team begin to shift through all of the work submitted to see what is the best fit for the theme and to fix any minor issues such as grammar or spelling. This is also the time for the Content team to write their own articles for the issue.
Deciding on the magazine style
The Heads of Editorial meet weekly and discuss the content, flat plan and printing options for Storehouse. Initially, we discuss how we envisage the next edition of the magazine to be, by creating the guidelines, ideas for design and layout.
Designing content for print
The Editorial team work to design the layout for all submissions made by the students and articles that we receive from the Content team. Every team member designs different pages within the magazine that follow a certain set of guidelines.
Working as a team
We create guidelines for the team to follow so the magazine has an element of continuity and establish a ‘house’ style. From the guidelines, team members have as much creative freedom as they’d like to interpret and present students’ work.
Creating the website
Storehouse has been more accessible than ever, with a website we are able to reach a wider audience with just a link, thus giving students the ability to publish their work on the website if it doesn’t work in the magazine.
Traditionally, software created by Jason Brown (The Wizard of Code) that created the website content in just a minute was used to make our website. However, since Issue 20 the website has been run on WordPress and is maintained and updated by the Storehouse Content Team so that the website cannot be operated by those who cannot code.
Finally, the new website with new content is tested by analysing and asking a few users to take a look before official release.
The things that make each issue special
With each issue we want to make our mark – for example Issue 19 featured a ‘process’ poster (to fit its theme) that sits on a grid alongside the arrows allows the medium to tell the message.
Issue 19 was brilliant to promote as we have also brought back our cover competition, last seen in Issue 16. Creating a buzz about the reveal is what makes it so much more special. Issue 19’s winner was a VFX student – a Storehouse cover first, making the magazine even more diverse which our Promotion team had set out to do. Lastly, the Promotion team talks to people. This year we attended the Clubs and Societies fair to source new recruits for Issue 20.
What happens next?
With our September launch, the first meeting of the next issue is in October and involves informing the new members of the team what Storehouse is like in the form of a presentation delivered by the Heads of Department. Then, we decide on a theme and the process continues. Following our second issue of the year in March, we wave goodbye to our Year 3 members, watch them graduate and wish them well. Before they leave, new Heads of Department will have been chosen to replace any that have left, and a handover will take place. Then, we decide on a theme and the process continues.
Originally written for Storehouse Issue 19 by the Storehouse Heads