The Spring issue of the Paint Horse Connection, the American Paint Horse Association’s member magazine, pays tribute to the more than 35,000 fans that have “friended” the organization’s Facebook page since it was created in May 2009. The magazine utilized innovative technology that allowed the award-winning graphics department at APHA to build the entire cover using photos submitted by APHA’s Facebook fans.
The cover depicts the portrait of the stallion’s head used in the widely recognized APHA logo and was built using MacOSAIX software. Over 1,700 photos were utilized to assemble the cover collage producing a colorful mosaic. Facebook fans that submitted photos will likely be able to spot their photo on the cover if they look closely.
“As far as we know, no equine publication has ever utilized this technique for a cover,” said APHA Executive Director Lex Smurthwaite. “Our Facebook family has grown so quickly in the last year, we wanted to pay tribute to our fans’ love of the Paint Horses in their lives.”
Planning began in December and the APHA Facebook community was asked to submit their personal photos of their American Paint Horses for use in the cover collage. Facebookers could submit as many photos of registered Paints as they liked and the response was overwhelming—it took only one week to accumulate enough photos for the special cover. APHA members can look forward to seeing the intriguing cover when the Spring Paint Horse Connection arrives in their mailboxes around the middle of February.
The American Paint Horse Association has two Facebook pages—one for APHA and one for the APHA Youth program (AjPHA) along with seven Twitter accounts and eight complete websites. The popularity and size of the APHA Facebook community makes it one of the most effective ways the Association now uses to communicate with its members.