All posts in category Commentary on Newspaper Design

Want a more creative publication? Skilled staff? Conduct art classes

Often the road to redesign brings happy surprises (beyond, one hopes, a smart looking publication). Prototyping and other goal-setting can suggest workflow restructuring, clarification of roles and responsibilities, and training needs. All came about at our redesign this spring of Crain’s Detroit Business, where redesign project manager Pierrette Dagg was promoted to Creative Services Director shortly before the relaunch. She […]




Advice for young (and seasoned) journalists? Ask some very recent grads

Grizzly grads tell us loud and clear: Get ready for digital-first publishing, heavy on social media, rocked by (and enjoying) constant change. [February 10, 2015, Missoula, Mont.] What an eye-opener it was for the journalism class I’m teaching this semester, “Critical Thinking About Design and Disruption,” to see #AdviceForYoungJournalists top the Twitter trends over the last 24 hours. Research they’d produced just the week […]




In the African dirt: The ‘truth’ behind one compelling photo

By Ron Reason For a variety of other essays and collected writings and images of my work in Africa and elsewhere in the Third World, visit this link.] Since my initial visit to Africa in 2006, I’ve returned a number of times and produced thousands of photos. Some have been published in magazines and newspapers; some have […]




Protected: Prototyping a startup newspaper?
Here are 5 free tips to do it right

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

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 […]




Hispanic business press pioneer: Three cheers for growth, diversification

It’s always terrific to see one of my clients moving forward, making new connections, and creating new revenue streams. Even better to hear gushing praise for these efforts directly from readers, advertisers, and partners. Such was the case Friday, June 20, 2014, when the publishers of the Hispanic business newspaper Negocios Now invited me to witness […]




2013 in Review: Busy Year, Challenging Projects

In a completely unscientific look at how the media landscape is moving forward, here’s a recap of the challenging, exciting projects I’ve been engaged in this year: February: I created the design for GRID, the print edition of a new business news venture for the Chicago Sun-Times. A glossy weekly inserted into select copies of […]




Thumbs up for Sun-Times’ backpage nod to Ebert’s legacy

“Do you go to work every day and try to master your job and feel deeply that it matters? Do you believe that you can, through sheer excellence, make it matter even more? Roger Ebert did.” When big news breaks (and in Chicago, Roger Ebert’s death has been big news), those who still love newspapers, […]




Cincinnati reader feedback: ‘Truly awesome.’ (Plus: more live pages)

Near the end of the first day of the new look/format/spirit Cincinnati Enquirer, Editor Carolyn Washburn forwarded a selection of reader comments, which I’ve interspersed below with live page designs from the second and third day. (Kudos to Gannett Louisville Design Studio manager Ryan Hildebrandt and his crew.) From my experience in years of redesigns […]




The redesigned Cincinnati Enquirer: Readers Guide, first pages

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 […]