Perfecting the university publication

Traina combines rich storytelling and fearless design to create publications that cannot be put down.


Magazines are alive and well in academia. Be it in print, online, or the overwhelming majority doing both, it is a medium tailor-made for university storytelling, one that Traina continually advances with every redesign. 

Some universities have engaged us as long-term partners, and others have asked us to build a fresh framework for their internal teams. But in every case, we understand the university’s character and the publication’s voice, crafting a cohesive brand and visual system that ties it all together.

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Discoveries, UC San Diego School of Medicine

Our longest partnership has been with UC San Diego Health’s Discoveries, starting with a 2011 rebrand. Where early editions used type and image styles more suited for an art magazine, our directive was to create an elite, science-based journal. Our distinct font and article frameworks unified the magazine, and image treatment guidelines allowed for creativity between articles but a consistent feel throughout the book.

Though the pandemic paused Discoveries’ print cycle, we brought the magazine back with an award-winning print/digital hybrid release—a multimedia retrospective on the university’s vigorous COVID-19 response and the firsthand stories of people who took part.

Triton Magazine, UC San Diego Alumni

Triton largely serves UC San Diego’s 200,000+ alumni, but it is also the university’s flagship for deep, rich storytelling. Its redesign was driven by their incoming Chancellor’s desire for a publication that could hold up against anything on a newsstand.

With smart, fun and confident as brand pillars and alumni engagement as the primary goal, Traina helped the editorial team execute truly innovative ways to excite their audience, stretching the very form of a magazine and exhibiting the university’s ethos of “nontraditional” thinking.

UC San Diego Magazine, UC San Diego Communications

In 2022, Triton shifted departments to University Communications, becoming UC San Diego Magazine—requiring an elevated voice and identity along with a new focus on the prestige and distinction of the university. Traina amplified the sophistication with a cultivated visual system and distinguished layout arrangements.

Where covers were once full-page playgrounds devoted solely to content, our refined cover system balances a window for expression with the institution’s prominence, evoking mood and tone through a spectrum of brand colors.

We paired dignified headlines and textual treatments with a custom illustration style that expands image options, using custom collages to elevate any low-res resources into rich visual stories.

US San Diego

Viewpoint Magazine, Point Loma Nazarene University

Our redesign of Viewpoint brought a new level of collaboration to the production process. We worked with a multidisciplinary team of editors, faculty artists and photographers, as well as design students who would ultimately produce issues following our reimagined release.

We set them up for success by building the book around the team’s natural strengths—impressive imagery and a versatile grid system that provided consistency as well as variety. We were also happy to train their teams in the core design principles of the framework and our thought process behind layout creation.

Ready to partner on your magazine

Whether Traina develops a framework for the future or is a steady partner in production, we knows the ins and outs of the university system and the unique role of publications. With years of experience and a wealth of innovative issues under our belt, we’re here to help magazines explore the character of their university and better connect with their community.

Let’s talk about your publication next—reach out for a conversation.

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Let’s move things forward.