The First Word

MSU Denver introduces a magazine on a mission.

By Catherine Lucas, Publisher

Publish Date: April 17, 2013

When designing a new magazine for MSU Denver, local
firm Betterweather found inspiration in the University’s
mission and its accessible and inclusive urban environment.
Betterweather creative principal Matt Dunn explains that the
new Metropolitan Denver Magazine logo is, of course, an M,
representing the school’s name and location in the heart
of Denver. But it also incorporates a greater-than symbol as a
reference to the aspirations of MSU Denver students, and
an equal sign reflecting education as the great equalizer.

The University published the final issue of its venerable Metro Magazine in November 2012. Taking its place is Metropolitan Denver Magazine, an entirely new publication with a fresh design, flexible format, streamlined content, a digital edition with lots of online extras, and a new title that incorporates two important elements of the University’s name — Metropolitan and Denver.

Just as the college changed its name to better reflect who we are today, it was time for an update to accomplish the same goal for the magazine.

The makeover reflects many months of planning, analysis and evaluation of how we can better tell the MSU Denver story. We drew on a decade of magazine reader research (we were told the magazine was like “getting a letter from an old friend”) and utilized results of the University’s 2012 brand audit, in which new words such as “bold” and “innovative” emerged as key descriptors of the University.

We sought the talent of local firm Betterweather to develop a visual concept and redesign the magazine, and we enlisted MSU Denver Affiliate Professor Michael Pearson — a veteran journalist with more than three decades of experience as a newspaper reporter and editor — to serve as the magazine’s managing editor. This work was done with the support and guidance of the many great team members in Advancement and External Relations, Marketing and Communications and our Editorial Advisory Board.

Metropolitan Denver Magazine is the end result. Each issue will explore a theme to better frame the MSU Denver story — the ways the University and its alumni, students, faculty and staff are transforming lives, communities and higher education itself. Even the striking new nameplate design has a story to tell. Fittingly for a new magazine at a university with a new name and identity, the inaugural issue explores “transformations.”

We hope you’ll continue to see this publication as a “letter from an old friend,” but that old friend has a new look that they are excited to share.

We want to hear from you. Your feedback will allow us to continue to refine and improve Metropolitan Denver Magazine. Tell us what you think and share your own story at