Working Paper Series

Overview

As part of a departmental brand standardisation programme, I redesigned the covers of the Philadelphia Fed’s Working Paper Series. After the redesign I worked with the product owner and stakeholders to help develop new processes and procedures for the production process, which I joined to create covers and final .pdf files. I then joined a product ownership committee to steer the series’ development to which I contributed procedural enhancements and a new design template following a Bank-wide rebrand.

Two working paper covers, first version and the second, and the submission form for the second.

Process and Procedure

Committee Work

Quarterly cross-departmental meetings

Documenting production processes

Template development and maintenance

Training and on-boarding

Working papers represent the core of the Philadelphia Fed’s Economic Research Department’s academic research output with the papers circulating amongst the academic research community for feedback before submission to peer-reviewed journals. In addition to designing the templates and creating the look-and-feel for versions of the series, I sat on the product ownership committee. In that capacity I helped design and oversee production processes and procedures.

On the design side, I redesigned the covers for the series as part of my brand standardisation project. This focused on improving the legibility of the covers themselves, working with the publications manager to develop a template used across and between departments. Additionally I added metadata to the final .pdfs, which led to a 33% increase in downloads of papers compared to prior years. When the Bank rebranded, I took the new identity’s typography and colours and created a new look-and-feel for the Working Paper series that could—and did—extend to other publication series. For these I created style guides and trained employees whose responsibilities included working paper production.

On the process side, I helped architect and document a new production process ensuring compliance with data and editorial review processes along with an allocation of departmental responsibilities. For authors I created a standardised submission form, which required acknowledgment of their responsibilities in receiving approvals for their papers. The form, when processed by the editorial staff, also included information needed by web teams for their work in building out pages and collateral for publishing the working paper in question.

A sample page from the Working Paper series cover style guide
The submission form for the Working Paper series

Day-to-Day Production

At the Coalface

Responsible for 40–80 papers per annum

Directed summer interns for production

Created social media collateral on an ad hoc basis

Working papers were unscheduled and could arrive anytime. My templates allowed for rapid production and turnaround of final files for publication. Volume varied annually, however, a typical year saw between 40 and 80 papers published by the Economic Research Department.

Working Papers were owned, managed, and published by the Economic Reseach Department, however economists from other departments could publish their academic work through the series. Initially the design allowed for different departments to “stamp” their departmental logos upon the cover to provide visibility to their department.

Following the Bank’s wider rebrand, almost all departmental branding disappearing with the Consumer Finance Institute (CFI) the notable exception. My new design continued allowing for the CFI logo to be “stamped” upon the cover to signal the paper’s inclusion in the institute’s body of academic work.

The cover of a first version Working Series paper
A cover from the second version of the Working Paper series