I want to redesign my newspaper or magazine: Where to start?

So you want to redesign your newspaper or magazine? You may be tired of the old look, or confronting a technical change such as a change in your page size. Or you may be considering putting your publication up for sale. Here are some thoughts and links to get you going, from Ron Reason Consulting. Want more input? Feel free to write me at ron (at) ronreason.com:

  • Start by writing up a project mission statement. What are your goals and objectives? These will serve as touch points throughout, and help keep you on track.
  • Put together an in-house steering committee, across departments, to meet from the start and get input on how and why to change. Eventually this group will review the work of your in-house designers or a consultant. I have worked with a steering committee on nearly every redesign project I have directed.
  • Create a rough timetable. When do you want to launch? Back up from there. You’ll need a template and styles solidified at least a month in advance, maybe more if you have to convert them from a program such as Indesign into another front-end system. Include tasks such as marketing, training, communication with advertisers, etc.
  • Not all clients start out wanting this, but I strongly suggest that you consider how your redesign can impact the bottom line. What changes can you make that will REALLY make your paper or magazine more desirable to advertisers? I emphasize this question from the start. Prototypes include realistic ad destinations for new advertisers, and the press test is used to go out and recruit them.

This is just a quick start to the conversation I begin with clients at the point of providing a proposal. I often provide free critiques of existing issues, and sometimes, sample pages for clients wishing to consider redesign. Please inquire.

Here are some related links you might find helpful:

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