Case Study


NACS, The Association for Convenience and Fuel Retailing, is the country’s leading association for the nearly $548 billion convenience store and fuel retailing industry. As the chief advocate for this niche market, NACS facilitates opportunities between the association and the overall industry that represents more than 154,000 convenience stores in the United States and internationally.


  • Magazine Ongoing Design
  • Media Kit
  • Digital Discovery and Strategy
  • Website Design and Development
  • Mobile App Design and Development


  • SPD 52 Annual

To uphold the association’s stature as the leading informer of industry insights, NACS tapped Bates Creative to streamline its print and digital workflows while enhancing its magazine’s branded experience across platforms with a unified aesthetic.

Bates has been instrumental in helping NACS navigate the expansion of our magazine onto a digital platform.  Not only do they understand the technical intricacies of digital and app creation, but the Bates team also delivers to us a consistently beautiful magazine. Their expertise in brand building and desire to push the creative envelope have helped grow the popularity—and by extension the profitability—of our award-winning publication.

Erin Pressley, Vice President, Publishing


NACS Magazine, the top trusted source of information for decision makers in the convenience industry, is a member-only benefit for NACS’ nearly 30,000 members. When Bates Creative was hired by NACS to take on its monthly print magazine design in 2016, the initiative started with a magazine refresh.

NACS entrusted Bates to visually present the NACS Magazine as an objective news source with a provocative edge fueled by coverage of controversial topics and important issues. The refresh is introduced immediately to readers with a move to more conceptual cover designs that lead the direction of the magazine’s feature designs for each issue.

Before Bates Creative designs each issue of the monthly publication, its design team collaborates with NACS’ editorial team to ultimately package NACS Magazine cover-to-cover with an artistic edge.

Bates Creative customizes each cover design to entice readers to immediately dive into the publication. NACS Magazine’s internal contents are rich with advertisements from industry-leading brands and articles designed with manipulated media, tactile typography, custom photography and more.

The refreshed print design was then leveraged to better inform NACS’ visual strategy across its mobile app and website properties.


Taking the new conceptual lead from NACS Magazine, Bates Creative worked with NACS to evolve the association’s digital strategy with a redesign of its magazine website. Bates Creative led the project by designing the magazine’s website to align with the visual identity of its printed counterpart—sleek, minimalistic and bold.

Bates Creative kick started the responsive website redesign with NACS’ mission to dual the website as a content bridge between its web and mobile app platforms. Bates Creative partnered with web development agency, Unleashed Technologies, to streamline NACS’ digital publishing workflow and to develop the website in Drupal 7.

Bates Creative and Unleashed Technologies created the first ever Drupal-to-AEM Mobile bridge that pushes content from NACS’ website to its mobile app designed and developed in Adobe Experience Manager Mobile. The website drives a unique user experience by offering members nimble entry points to explore full magazine articles while gated content piques non-members’ interest to subscribe for complete access.


Bates Creative fused the creative energy published in the printed magazine into NACS’ mobile app, further exercising Bates Creative’s involvement through every stage of publishing: creative concepting, print design, website iteration and mobile app publishing.

Bates Creative transformed NACS’ mobile app from a curation of static articles to a content-driven tool that encourages users to spend more time engaging with content within the app. By designing and developing the app in AEM Mobile, the platform’s interactive structure adds a new dimension to NACS’ digital strategy. Pushing content to the app directly from the website simplifies NACS’ monthly publishing efforts by adhering to its tight turnaround time without sacrificing the integrity of the overall magazine design.