Virginia community newspapers redesign: A success story

[Lynchburg, VA] Great news to end the year with: Our relaunch of a new shared design for a number of smaller community newspapers produced from Media General’s editing center here has been an instant success. In the words of Managing Editor Jason Snyder:

“The redesign has gone great so far. It’s been the easiest of all the transitional things that we’re dealing with right now (including the change to a new content management system,  conversion from Quark to InDesign and bringing on the production of a new daily newspaper, the Pulitzer-prize winning Bristol Herald Courier).”

The mandate for the new look was to streamline and simplify the design styles used by the editors at a dozen or so papers produced from this site; while each paper retains its own branding in the form of front page nameplate, promotional elements and in some cases, section flags, all other design elements are common to the group of papers. The result: a far easier production process for all involved.

“It’s been very nice explaining one set of rules to everyone, rather than different sets of rules for each paper. It’s come at a good time as we’re bringing in new hires … we only have to teach them everything once. I think the papers are looking good. It’s been a huge improvement for a couple of the papers, a moderate change for some. Almost all of the feedback has been positive. In fact, many of the editors who have been fighting battles of their own in their own newsrooms (in some cases, hours away from the editing center) for years, are happy that we’ve made some changes.”

Congrats to Jason and his crew. Click to enlarge the image above for two live pages, from The News & Advance (in Lynchburg) and the Danville Register & Bee. For additional page design samples post-relaunch, visit this Flickr page.

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1 Comment

  1. stratosphere

     /  December 30, 2010

    Thanks for publishing something helpful about the design of community newspapers. The Media General papers are looking great! I think this is the future of newspapers, local local local, and a solid clean design (of course paired with relevant content) is the way to go.

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