1. Figure out what you want. Look at magazines. Lots and lots of magazines. We use Esquire, GQ, Details, Bloomberg Businessweek, Wired, Fast Company (censor the magazines your bring into your classroom accordingly).
Also scope out high schools on issuu and national winners: http://issuu.com/chsglobe, http://issuu.com/fhnpublications, http://issuu.com/elestoque/docs, http://www.studentpress.org/nspa/winners/npm12.html, http://cspa.columbia.edu/docs/contests-and-critiques/crownawards/recipients/2012-scholastic-crown.html#N100F5
2. Kick Start Your Redesign. Sign up for a summer workshop and get help nailing down the specifics. One that we do is at Ball State University in July: http://bsujournalismworkshops.com/. There is also STL Media Now in June: http://medianowstl.com/.
3. Set Up Your Tools. While at your summer workshop or summer meeting set up new paragraph styles, libraries and templates to streamline introducing the rest of your staff to the new design and making your coming year a whole lot easier.
4. Talk to your Printer. About the change in cost, size, bleeds and turn around time.
5. Make a Back to School Issue. Get your kids in before school starts and things get crazy. We make a ½ issue to kickstart the school year. This helps us put our tools to the test and execute our vision for the coming year.
6. Tweak as you Go. If something isn’t working – change it. It’s not set in stone.