All posts tagged AAN

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 […]




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 […]




Good alt weeklies: ‘The indescribable savoriness of salty, sweet, sour, bitter’

A good alt-weekly. It’s like the journalistic equivalent of umami – the indescribable savoriness that goes with salty, sweet, sour, bitter. It’s just a texture more than anything else and it celebrates being intangible.







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 […]




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 […]