Who Says Playing It Safe in Design Is Good for Safety

The design and editorial revamp of CAAS’ safety periodical — The Leading Edge — pushes boundaries to offer aviation industry professionals a more engaging read.

Lancer Design
Oct 31 · 3 min read

Seven years ago when CAAS, or better known as Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, launched an aviation-related safety publication, we were engaged. Little did we know we had the honour to play designer again — to give it a fresh leash of life — seven years later.

The Brief

In 2012, The Leading Edge was the first of its kind in the region. The primary aim then was to keep the community informed about safety matters. Since then, the same look has been kept with minor enhancements.

Challenge #1

In 2019, readership for The Leading Edge was decreasing. Other feedback were — stale design, and hard to tell issues apart from one another. The presentation of contents also made the technical articles seem even drier and duller.

The Solution

The answer is simple. The design of the newsletter has to be updated — to adopt a fresh, modern look.

And we are not looking at a mere touch-up of visuals, but an overhaul — outside and inside. Noting that target audiences and the nature of contents remain unchanged, the team had to make sure that the refreshed design looks professional and reflective of CAAS’ corporate identity.

For the outside — The Leading Edge has a proper cover image for the first time ever. With a different cover every issue, each edition promises to look different. The challenge of not being able to tell issues apart? Solved!

Colourful and relevant graphics and pictures are introduced to liven up the inside pages. Care is taken to balance visuals with contents on each page. The outcome? Text-heavy articles no longer overflow with text and appear more digestible.

Challenge #2

There were many ideas to improve the aesthetic appeal of the newsletter. But, there is one problem. We need space. As the newsletter stood, every page was filled with words. So how can we incorporate (1) a cover page, and (2) pictures and graphics?

The Solution

Something has to go. It is obvious that it will have to be the text. Question is, how can we keep the contents robust with fewer words?

Editing down word count with the use of more succinct expressions may not free up sufficient space. Hence, a more radical approach is in order.

Reading deeper into the contents, the team found that infographics can replace some text contents without compromising their meaning. This means fewer words but still deliver the same message — and possibly with more impact!

Icing on the cake? The team went the extra mile to change up some titles and subtitles in the articles to make them catchier and less technical sounding.

It’s all down to the details. The cover lines featured on the cover are also rewritten to be a lot more teasing and inviting. Purpose? To increase readership, of course!

The sky’s the limit — see the refreshed The Leading Edge for yourself.


We are now on LinkedIn — follow us and see what Lancer Design is up to today!

Lancer Design

Written by

With 30 years of experience in the design industry, Lancer is the Original Creative Outfit. Find us on LinkedIn! https://www.linkedin.com/company/lancer-design/

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade