All posts in category Commentary on Newspaper Design

Production hubs and newspaper redesigns: Project management advice

In the last few years, the bulk of my consulting work has come from redesign projects for newspaper “hubs,” or centralized staffing centers where shared templates (with, perhaps, a controlled amount of customization) allow for streamlined production. First off was a shared design created for the three large “metro” newspapers of Media General, in Tampa, […]

In Cincinnati, strategic prep
for the new ‘super compact’ format

The current Enquirer page size, left, compared with approximate dimensions of the ‘super compact’ canvas, right. The design is expected to change substantially. Originally published December 2011. Update: We’ve launched!  [CINCINNATI, Ohio] I’ve just returned from an invigorating three days helping to advise the staff of The Cincinnati Enquirer on the paper’s conversion (around October 2012) […]

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

[ON THE OCCASION OF ITS 40TH BIRTHDAY] (Related: How our redesign flipped the Reader’s iconic music coverage into its own brand, “B Side.”) Last year I wrote an admiring post 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 […]

Osama Day 2 front page: Dissecting
St. Pete’s mastery of editing, design

Today’s second-day front by the St. Pete Times is a standout. Here are three reasons why. I may be an average consumer of news about the Osama capture/killing – viewed the press conference, and listen to NPR in the morning, spend 20 minutes or so surfing stories on the web, follow Facebook/Twitter feeds and review […]

22 things to never say to a designer or art director

Following up on my last post, “Things to never say to a photojournalist,” we have the classic list that inspired it. Reprinted from The American Editor, the journal of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, these gems were originally compiled by Brenda Shoun, who for a long time was a genius designer/editor with the Orange […]

20+ things to never say to a photojournalist

In light of The Washington Post‘s achievement this week in scoring a Pulitzer for its excellent photo coverage from Haiti, I thought I’d dust off this list which originated in my days as Director of Visual Journalism, and faculty member, at Poynter. There, along with my colleague Kenny Irby, we tried hard to help gain/earn […]

3 unglamorous (but excellent) details from a campus newspaper redesign

The Cult of News Design loves to fawn over magazine covers and newspaper front pages (that’s what wins awards, after all), much to the neglect of small details and inside pages that comprise 90% of a newspaper or magazine. This post zooms in a bit on some smaller but impactful work that came out of […]

Don’t want a generic redesign? Learn from those who focused

Occasionally I get emails from prospective clients, or people working on their own redesigns, or others just interested in publication design, that are worth sharing on the blog. Here’s one that came through over the weekend: Question: “We’re interested in doing a redesign, but concerned about looking like everyone else. Our community is distinctive and […]

Is ‘print in vogue’? Or are we ‘stumbling to extinction?’ 3 talking points

It’s good news, bad news today in the news media world. The good: “print’s in vogue again,” if you consider these three top women editors who abandoned digital startups to return to the magazine world, in a thought-provoking look at news media economics from Women’s Wear Daily. Or, “print is dying,” depending on how you interpret […]

Ad Age goes edgy with ‘Digital Issue’ cover lettering

This week’s cover of Advertising Age (a past client that I watch regularly) provided a bit of a typographic shocker: a chaotic digital font (or is it a font?) overlaid on a cast photo from MTV’s “Skins.” The headline: THE DIGITAL ISSUE (an annual affair for Ad Age). The subhead: “Your consumer’s brain on digital: […]