Log cabins

There’s one approach to ser­vice sto­ries that rarely sat­is­fies read­ers: promis­ing to cover a big topic com­pre­hen­sively in a lim­ited space. Rather than “every­thing you need to know” on a given sub­ject, I always pre­fer to offer “sev­eral really inter­est­ing ideas that will ben­e­fit you.” That’s when pack­ag­ing devices become a ser­vice editor’s secret weapons.

Buying a log cabin is more than a sin­gle mag­a­zine story can ade­quately cover. The approach I took here, in Ray Ford’s assign­ment, was to ask for a series of true or false ques­tions based on com­mon ideas (some myths, some not) that buy­ers have about log build­ings. The detailed answers give read­ers impor­tant tools to be smarter log cabin pur­chasers. The myth-​busting, quiz-​like struc­ture hooks read­ers, even if they have no actual need for the infor­ma­tion. More impor­tantly, no read­ers will feel that the story missed some­thing or promised more than it deliv­ered.

Cottage Life
Spring 2014

Service editing

Editorial packaging

I worked with

Writer: Ray Ford
Photographer: Derek Shapton
Designer: Kim Zagar