PHS GROW Magazine

Revolutionizing a Beloved Membership Magazine

Print & Digital Publications

Digital Publication Development, Print Publication Development


The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) uses horticulture to advance the health and well-being of the Greater Philadelphia region. Its premier annual fundraiser—The Philadelphia Flower Show—is the nation’s largest and the world’s longest-running horticultural event.

PHS quarterly magazine, GROW, is adored by members for its beautiful spreads, photo essays, infographics, and long-form stories. But with print prices skyrocketing, it was clear it was time for a digital variation.

Evaluating Options

The team at PHS needed a change that would retain the beauty and flow of print, allow each story and issue to be different, maintain readability and style on desktop, tablet, and mobile, and mitigate increasing costs. They had been using a page-flipping solution, but that required designing the piece based on the constraints of print design. Other options — such as a microsite, blog site, or an email publication — didn’t provide flexibility or room for creativity.

Discovering a New Solution

Thankfully, we had a solution that allowed for the digital version of the magazine to maintain all the best qualities of print while improving the digital experience. The new format allows us to showcase PHS stories and photos beautifully and with endless variety. By aligning our design and tech capabilities with their team’s writing and photography skills, we were able to create a digital piece that engages their members.

“Making the transition from a quarterly print publication to a purely digital one was not easy — we had years of reader loyalty, engaging articles, and beautiful photography that we wanted to maintain, regardless of format. As we worked through this transition with the Iris Creative team, they helped provide a creative path to this new future state. Their team worked with us to keep a number of elements consistent from print to digital, while also adding in creative ideas, plus digital-only features and functions that would further engage our readers, like video, interactive graphics, and clickable links to photo galleries and even online shopping opportunities. We love the new look and feel of the digital version, while continuing to build in new elements for our current and future audiences!”

 — Erin Dunkel, Vice President, Content Marketing, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society