All posts in category Alt Weeklies

Format busters! 3 clients tell stories
in graphic, novel ways

Going bold with ‘comics journalism’: The Reader, Creative Loafing, and U of Chicago research magazine Capital Ideas [July 13, 2014] The work of three current and former clients reinforces the potential for visual journalism to tell complex stories in eye-grabbing ways – the Chicago Reader and Atlanta’s Creative Loafing, both of which I redesigned several years ago, and Capital […]




Reader’s cover this week:
‘Type attack’ to the rescue

Love, love, LOVE this week’s cover design from former client Chicago Reader. Great example of a “type attack” conveying a kick-ass point better than a mug shot or some corny illustration with dollars being stuff into a back pocket. Kudos, as always, to art director Paul Higgins, Editor Mara Shalhoup and staff. Chicago’s professional watchdog […]




Reader’s “Best of …” issue: Viral marketing innovations, strong ad sales

More than a year out from its redesign, I now keep an eye on the Chicago Reader as, well, a reader. Things are never dull for what has been, for 40 years, one of the most influential alt-weeklies; most recently, its sale to Sun-Times Media Group caused a stir. But the summer event I look […]




Warning to coverjunkies: Watch out for paper cuts!

A fun and smart surprise for magazine “cover junkies” has arrived in my mailbox from across the seas: Jaap Biemans’ one-off magazine celebrating the most notable magazine cover designs of 2011. Be warned: despite the cleverly edited title, it IS “an addiction to creative magazine covers that you wanna lick.” Lush, inviting, and expertly crafted, […]




Updated, expanded: Magazine design, redesign resources

Seeking inspiration for magazine design and editing? Check out this updated and expanded collection of magazine covers, prototypes, and inside pages (not sexy, but oh so important), with links to associated case studies and blog posts. And check out more than 2 dozen blog entries related to magazine and tabloid design and editing.




6 things the news industry can learn from the Chicago Reader (print edition)

[ON THE OCCASION OF ITS 40TH BIRTHDAY] Last year I wrote an admiring post here on Seattle alt weekly The Stranger, praising the paper (as well as its integrated, smart and funny marketing and digital efforts), and pondering: This is a paper I’d really seek out if I lived in Seattle. What is it about […]




Chicago Reader redesign:
‘Will it get me to pick up the paper?’

“READER Week” continues, heralding the April 28, 2011 relaunch of the Chicago Reader. This post previews key changes that aim to make the print edition more appealing to readers and advertisers. There are dozens of smaller improvements to navigation and new content, but below are the biggies. In editing this post, I decided to address […]




Chicago Reader redesign:
A new music section to flip for

[Prototypes for covers of B Side: Chicago’s Music Magazine, the new music section of the Reader. Click to enlarge] Welcome to “READER Week,” a series of posts looking at the April 28, 2011 relaunch of the Chicago READER, the alternative newsweekly celebrating its 40th year. To kick things off, we look at what may be the […]




Chicago Reader redesign: Questions, background about the paper and project

I’ve been fielding questions about the Chicago Reader since formally beginning consultation on its redesign in September 2010. Below are a few questions about the redesign since it launched, as well as some basic background and links relating to the paper as of April 2011. For more about the relaunch of the paper on April […]