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Sep 09, 2015

Looking Forward: A Ward Village Publication

With its oversized format, stunning imagery, sharp design, and insightful editorial, Forward, Ward Village's journal, is an eye-catching publication.

Published by Nella Media Group, the same folks who bring Hawaii FLUX Magazine, the publication is a slick representative of our budding community. In the interview below, Forward's editor, Lisa Yamada, discusses the process of creating the publication, her favorite story, and what it's like watching Ward Village grow.

How would you describe Forward?

When it came to creating Forward, we knew that we wanted to create something hip, progressive, and cool, but we also wanted to make something that was authentic and representative of Hawai'i and the history of the area. Finding the right voice for a publication can be really difficult. So we took a lot of time and energy to ensure that the look and feel of the publication was true to Hawai'i while still feeling modern. By that I mean that we wanted to capture the real history of the area. We didn't want to have a fabricated version of what people think Hawaii is about. But rather what it really is. We also put a lot of energy into creating something that could serve as the voice for this neighborhood and was representative of the residents and merchants as well.


How long have you been working on the publication?

The concept for Forward actually arose a few years ago. We were working with some of the representatives from Ward Village before a lot of the development really got underway. So we launched the first issue earlier this year and the latest copy comes out this week. All in all, each issue takes us about two months of production before the public sees it.

Looking back on the project, as you approach the release of the second edition, how do you feel about it?

We're all really proud of what it's become. I think it's garnered a lot of interest for a number of reasons. Of course, there's the size. We've printed Forward on this amazing oversized paper, which almost gives it the feel of a high-end newspaper meets fashion magazine. The idea to take the format to an oversized publication actually came from Katie Ka'anapu, Ward Village's Director of Community and Retail Marketing. She found this really progressive Australian fashion publication and we'd never seen anything quite like it before. So we took that for inspiration and made it our own from there. So on a physical level, it stands out. Some of the editorial we've crafted inside the publication also takes a lot of people by surprise, so we're really happy with the overall product. It's got a great feel and there's really nothing else quite like it in Hawai'i.

Did you have a favorite story in the latest issue?

Yeah, I did actually. We worked on a piece about who Victoria Ward was as a person. Having grown up in Hawai'i, you'd hear that name a lot but most of us had no idea just how important she and her family were to shaping the city. I found that to be really impressive. I also had no idea that the Blaisdell center was built on the same grounds that used to be her beloved home. So for me, to learn about something new in my hometown, that's always refreshing.

We know your business, Nella Media Group, publishes an array of magazines with each issue typically themed on a topic. How difficult was it "theming" an issue on an entire neighborhood?

That's a really interesting question. We're at a point in the history of the city where we're seeing a lot of development. New neighborhoods are springing up and we're tasked with representing and covering it in its nascent state. I think it's really exciting to see everything come together. It's fascinating to see a new section of the city evolve into a thriving neighborhood, and we're thrilled to have been a part of that.

Pick up the latest issue of Forward Journal on the first floor of the IBM Building or on stands throughout the property.

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