All posts in category Commentary on Newspaper Design

7 Things to Love About The Stranger: An Illustrated Guide.

[Update: Since this blog post was first published in 2010, some design elements of The Stranger may have changed, but the spirited visual mission has not. Find lots of fun new links celebrating the paper’s 25th anniversary at the bottom of this post. To be clear, this was not one of my redesign projects; rather, it’s among […]




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 […]




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

[Sample pages from a 28-page prototype of the Rocky shared publicly today. To peruse the entire thing and offer your own opinions, click here.] [Dec. 9, 2014] Just across the Twitter has come news that “Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz is exploring the possibility of reviving the Rocky Mountain News.” Hurrah, one might think! Someone believes in the power […]




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 […]