All posts in category Alt Weeklies

Chicago Reader: moving forward (with a quick look back)

Today’s news of a new editor-in-chief at the Chicago Reader is a good push forward for a redesign that has been in the works there (in fits and starts) for a few months. We aim for a spring launch date for the paper soon to be helmed by Mara Shalhoup, currently with Creative Loafing in […]

Injun Summer, meet Tribune Summer

x I have vivid childhood memories of my grandfather, a longtime Chicago Tribune reader in Valparaiso, Ind., pulling out the paper each autumn and showing us kids John T. McCutcheon’s “Injun Summer.” At the time it appeared regularly on the inside back cover of the Trib‘s glossy Sunday magazine (ah, those were the good old […]

Innovation in U.S. papers: Where is it? How to define it?

>> How do we define innovation in newspapers? It’s tricky. Let’s start by giving credit to those trying bold new ways to connect with audiences. Here’s a look inside some very different print publications: a Seattle alt-weekly, the San Francisco literary publisher McSweeney’s, and the Chicago Tribune. One of the fun things about being a […]

Advertising innovation requires a systematic approach

I feel strongly that innovative solutions for advertisers have to be a part of any news redesign (and it’s often the starting point of my process). Why just move things around or dress them up, when you can improve the financial health of the enterprise? This blog post walks you through how we created a […]

Newspaper reinvention: What can you do in a week?

An interesting question from the recent SND conference in Denver: “How has newspaper design consulting been affected by the economy and the upheaval in the industry?” Answer: Dramatically! GONE are the days of leisurely redesigns that take 9 months or longer … you visit for a casual discussion of change, go back to your studio […]

At Burning Man, two alt weeklies stir up some dust

I’ve been in alt-weekly mode with several fascinating¬†clients this year, and some work with the Association of Alternative News, so I was intrigued to find not one but two alternative weekly newspapers circulating at Burning Man, the annual desert festival of art-culture-camping-music-whatever in the remote desert of Nevada. Well, no wifi or cell phone service […]

Want more zip? Grade your publication’s spirit

Great conversations with creative directors and production managers here in Toronto, with the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. There aren’t a huge number of the art folk here, but they are smart and passionate about their papers, digital products and overall brand. Several have shared this concern: with the tightening of news hole, and down sizing […]

An alt-weekly wish list: Editing, design, spirit

[Newer Post: 7 Things to Love About The Stranger: An Illustrated Guide.] More thoughts from a weekend immersion in the world of alternative weekly newspapers. Fun crowd with lots of talent, energy, and passion, despite the challenges of the current economic climate. Here’s a little fantasizing about where I’d take them in a perfect world […]

Relaunch: the time to ask, ‘Why not? What if?’

A few utterances from my presentation for the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies here in Toronto: “Does your paper look like a lecture or a conversation? A press release, or a party?” “Why just redesign? Rethink. Revisit. Reinvent. Not just the look, but what you do, who you serve, and how.” “Why is it that Taquitos […]

Table of Contents pages: WHY?

DISPATCHES FROM THE ASSOCIATION OF ALTERNATIVE NEWSWEEKLIES One bonus of attending a journalism convention is you get to see a ton of samples of fresh papers in one fell swoop. No reader ever sees newspapers this way, but it gives me a chance to think in fresh ways about why and how we do what […]