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UNM CE Course Catalog Redesign

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  • UNM CE Course Catalog Redesign
    Designing a catalog that reflects the culture of the organization.
  • Many colleges have eliminated their print catalogs in order to save money. For most Continuing Education units, the course catalog is the most important marketing tool they have. Continuing Education is usually targeting working adults, youth, alumni and anyone who is not a traditional credit student. So the branding, design and distribution of the course catalog is very important to the success of Continuing Education.

    When I came to UNM Continuing Education, the course catalog design was very typical of an institutional publication. The cover said much more about the institution than the students it hoped to serve. I worked with the Marketing team to gather information about who the customer was, what they valued and how they liked to get their information. This led to the creation of a campaign that was applied to web, radio and print materials, including the catalog. The new catalog design was more like a magazine format. It included images that suggested what kind of learning people could find at CE. It had content menus that led the reader to key sections of the catalog and highlighted new classes.

    My team engages in a redesign project each year for the catalog and related print materials that retains the brand integrity, but emphasizes the content that our students are most interested in. I have included just a few of the catalog issues with this article to illustrate the evolution of the design.


  • This is the most recent catalog cover design. It looks more like a magazine cover than a course catalog and the highlighted classes and content index encourage browsing.
  • This is a catalog that was produced in 1992, before I started working as Marketing Director. The previous catalogs all had different and inconsistent branding and it was difficult to understand what the product was from looking at the cover. 
  • Another early cover. This was the last one produced before the redesign of the campaign and the catalog. Branding is a bit better, but still not a good use of images to tell what the product or student experience might be.
  • This was the 2005 catalog cover. The branding is more consistent. The primary reason adult students were coming to the classes was to gain confidence, so that was the main message, supported by quotes and images.
  • This catalog design features a grid format that matched the website flash home page. It makes use of images that describe the customer experience and a simplified table of contents that leads to the major sections of the catalog.