Redesign check-up: Portland Press Herald

Every so often I’ll go on the Newseum gallery of daily front pages, and check up on random former clients. A few days ago I was pleased to see this front page from The Portland Press Herald, whose redesign I directed about 6 or 7 years ago. (Time flies!) Sometimes you look at a former client and sigh, oh God, look what a mess they made of this. (Hasn’t happened too often to me, luckily. It pretty much only happens with a client on the cheap who won’t spring for a Design Style Guide.) Other times you think, oh God, please, update this thing already, even if someone else has to do it, this design was fine for 10 years ago but get with the times! And other times, you are blessed to think, this is a design that holds up well. This was my reaction when I saw this Press Herald cover. The owners and editors at the time asked us to create an orderly, restrained, classic feel. Despite new ownership (after emergence from bankrupty) this front page looks crisp and inviting. A favorite feature? The strip ad at the bottom that looks serene, integrated with the rest of the paper, inviting and not conflicting with other visuals on the page. (Why do so many front page and section-front ads have to look like ransom notes painted with Crayola’s rejects?) Bravo PPH, keep going strong!

Related link: An update on morale in the Press Herald newsroom and other issues, from DownEast.com

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