Congratulations to Editor Carolyn Washburn, Gannett Design Team Supervisor Ryan Hildebrandt, and their teams today as they debut a new look, format, and spirit for the Cincinnati Enquirer. The paper is the second major title in the U.S. to convert to a folded, tall-tab format called “Super Compact/Three Around,” and Washburn took the opportunity over 18 months to 1) rethink the content, placement and tone of editorial elements, 2) reconsider new ways to recruit and display advertising; and 3)reimagine how teamwork, collaboration, and leadership could be nurtured in her newsroom to make it all happen.
Click the image above or click here for a 14-page Readers Guide(pdf file) that appears in this morning’s paper, designed by Jeff Ruble and edited by Spencer Holladay. It clearly and colorfully explains what’s new, and introduces (or re-introduces) readers to the staffers who put out the paper each day. (Even the photographers! The copy editors! The good folks who answer the phones!) The special section in the culmination of many months of educating readers, advertisers, and staff about what the changes in format and content would mean for them.
Among the challenges this project faced: the startup of Gannett’s off-site design studio, in Louisville, Ky., that would produce the new look and came to innovate a productive and creative working relationship with the staff in Cincinnati. (Semi-related: blog post on redesign and hubs.) It was so great to help out with and to observe the early stages of that process.
As hub manager Hildebrandt told blogger Charles Apple: “Change from tradition is tough, but the journalists in Cincinnati have been fantastic partners in crafting this new approach. This product is a perfect reflection of the great work being done by the Enquirer staff, who have created a better newspaper for their readers.” More background about the launch from Charles Apple’s blog (with a great list of links at the bottom for true newspaper, design and/or history junkies).
Following are some live pages from this morning’s debut. A renewed emphasis on investigative, in-depth news coverage is evident in the cover and the next sample, an inside news spread. The new format for features sections will debut later in the week – as always, watch this blog for additional information and image files.
Watch the blog later in the week for samples of the paper’s new dynamic features sections.
Related or semi-related:
- Followup post with positive reader reaction to the new design, and more live pages.
- An updated album of Cincinnati Enquirer newspaper redesign news pages (and a few prototypes).
- An updated album of Cincinnati Enquirer newspaper redesign features pages
- Earlier blog post with more background on our preliminary work with Cincinnati Enquirer redesign project.
- Note to readers from Publisher Margaret Buchanan.
- A few months back, the Enquirer published its complete prototypes online to solicit feedback from readers.
- Six secrets of the newspaper redesign prototyping process.
- This project featured an off-site design hub. While a controversy with some in the industry, the end result here was efficiency married with creativity. See this Q&A on redesigning with hubs in mind.
- Many more tips, visuals and other resources on newspaper redesigns.
- Follow Ron Reason Consulting on Twitter.