Maryland Public Television (MPT) comprises four stations, broadcast throughout Maryland and Washington, DC, as well as parts of surrounding states. Distributed monthly, MPT’s program guide provides members and partners with schedules for its channels and informs them of area events.
MPT sought to update their program guides to better engage and inform members. Novak Birch was tasked with designing, writing, editing, and producing engaging program guides that support MPT’s mission to educate and entertain the public with high-quality programs and services.
While adhering to MPT and PBS brand guidelines, we redesigned the program guide to give it a fresh, modern look-and-feel. To enhance readability, we eliminated heavy background colors and large blocks of text. The new guide incorporates more white space yet includes the same key content—making it easy for readers to find information they’re looking for and to discover new programs of interest. For example:
- The channel grids provide an at-a-glance overview of each day’s primetime line-up, while the listings provide more detailed information.
- At the top of each channel grid, “grid picks” offer teasers about programs to engage readers.
- Each guide’s cover and feature page highlight one program or initiative, enticing readers to learn about the program and to explore the guide.
Since 2012, we’ve worked with MPT to design and write the monthly program guide. Working with our printer/mailhouse partner, we also manage the printing and mailing to more than 53,000 households across the region each month.
MPT’s program guide has won 12 creative awards during our tenure:
- PromaxBDA: Local Awards
- 2013: Silver (1), Off Air Design
- International Academy of Visual Arts: Communicator Awards
- 2015: Silver Awards of Distinction (3)
- 2014: Gold Award of Excellence (1) & Silver Awards of Distinction (2)
- 2013: Gold Awards of Excellence (3) & Silver Awards of Distinction (2)
We have helped MPT save money by changing paper and by making proactive design changes to incorporate new channel grids without adding pages.
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