A Glossier Look: A Retrospective On Earlier Versions of Challenge

The covers of Challenge from 2006 to 2010 took on different looks as the in-house editorial team began working with a partner in publishing.
A Glossier Look

Casting off the unusual tall and narrow shape of before, the fourth version of Challenge assumed a more conventional, easier-to-store size.

From the August 2006 issue, for the first time, public officers were featured on the cover, with their names credited on the inside, like professional photography talent.

The “models” include Ms Wendy Leo (Ministry of Finance) and Mr Kong Wy Mun (Singapore Cooperation Enterprise), who are both pictured here (bottom middle) and still in the Public Service.

The revamped issues also had more readers contributing to content. A new column, At the Watercooler, invited readers to share their views on any PS21 issue. The comments included reflections on the impact of the PS21 movement and ways to work better. One suggestion was to have more informal networking by using existing online tools, such as Yahoo! groups, for discussions.

Another column called Seen and Heard invited readers to submit their photos and writing for a chance to win movie tickets. The charming stories ranged from praise for colleagues to short reflections by interns.

From the May 2007 issue, custom illustrations took over the cover pages. This continued when Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) was engaged as a publishing partner from the following issue (June 2007) until 2010.

With SPH’s expertise, Challenge took on the glossier look of a consumer magazine. Its Lifestyle sections also shed the former focus on health issues and covered more light-hearted material, such as food and book recommendations.

Experts from outside the public sector were invited to share advice on matters such as communicating simply and in new ways with social media.

From the May-June 2008 issue, Challenge began to be published bi-monthly. That issue also marked the return of public officers on the cover for a story celebrating the diversity of roles in the Public Service.


Look back at the various forms that Challenge has taken over the years:

    Jul 1, 2015
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