By: Christina Bandru
The first issue of the Great Lake Review (or at least the first archive that can be found) was published in the 1974-1975 school year. Since then, the publication has undergone many changes, like accepting drama submissions and adding a new group of editors that focus specifically on them. It’s also changed in page count throughout the years, with over 100 pages of a difference from the smallest to the largest edition.
We’ve also changed the names of officer positions and added some (and then removed some). For example, the oldest issue had an editor-in-chief, assistant editor, and managing editor. We now have an editor-in-chief, managerial editor, secretary, and treasurer.
A later issue included a note from the editors at the end of the journal, specifying changes made to the submission process to help encourage more people to submit.
Something that would be interesting to look more into is where the tag “We’re nice people” came from. Looking through the GLR archives, the first time it was used was for the Fall 2009 issue. It’s been on the back cover ever since.
The phrase is something we tend to use on our advertisements and it’s something I always say at the end of my class visits when I’m pitching GLR. The editors and I always talk about how ironic it is that that’s our saying, when the majority of us communicate through sass, sarcasm, or both.
A couple things that are important when it comes to publications are the typography and logotypes. It’s important to have something on each issue of the publication so people recognize it and will want to read it. Of course, each edition shouldn’t be exactly the same because that would get boring. Keeping the same logotype with slight modifications can help with this.
The magazine Poetry is known for its Pegasus, which can be found usually on the cover or first page of the publication. Paul F. Gehl says, “whenever an illustration is repeated on a cover for many issues, it takes on the function of a logotype” (par. 7). Since we’ve used “We’re nice people” on our back cover for the past 15 editions, it can be considered our logotype. However, there are way more editions that don’t have this on it. The only thing that’s really consistent with the older issues is the Great Lake Review (or GLR) title and recognition that the publication comes from Student Association fees.
I’ve been a part of GLR since Fall 2014, so I can only attest to how the editing and publication process has worked since then. I would assume it was at least somewhat similar for past editions as it is now – reading submissions anonymously, working together to decide which pieces go in, finding a way to put the book together, and having a release party. However, the number of submissions, published writers and artists, and editors continues to fluctuate. It would definitely be interesting to interview some past editor-in-chiefs to see how they all ran the journal.
Since the logotype hasn’t been around that long, there’s a possibility it could change in the next few years. Until then, I guess I’m still a nice person.