Improving the DCI with a new look
Just as rooms in your house often demand a little extra tender loving and care with improvements and changes, the newspaper you pick up each week is really no different.
And for those of us whose job it is to put together the newspaper each and every week, that challenge becomes near and dear to our hearts.
This week the DCI has embarked on a new redesign of the pages. We’re giving them a fresh coat of paint, so to speak, in an effort to enhance the overall quality and appearance. We set out to design a more modern and reader-friendly product.
For our staff, the redesign experience has been an infusion of optimism, excitement and opportunity. This came through the help of Ed Henninger, a well- respected national design expert. He has helped bring our newspaper to a new level.
Is it symmetrical or asymmetrical?
Which part of the paper, top or bottom, has the most weight? Is the page balanced left to right?
Those are just some of the questions that we ask ourselves in designing a front page as well as other pages.
We recognize that newspaper readers are initially attracted to the product whose type and words are easiest to read and whose pictures and other graphics most effectively portray the news.
Going forward, you’ll likely notice a major difference in the way our paper looks. The content isn’t going to change, as we’ll still have the same quality local news, sports and features that we’ve always had. But how it’s all packaged together will take on a new flavor.
There are various design tips that we are attempting to implement into our newly revamped paper. Readers may not recognize every little thing we’ve changed, but that’s fine. In the end, we hope it will showcase a product that is eloquent.
Admittedly, there are probably some things that we have done which were designed in the 1960s. That was the era I was born, and boy, things have changed mightily since that time. I like to think of myself as being somewhat trendy and I hope that will be reflected in my newspapers.
This exercise in redesign has been an eye-opening experience even for veteran news folk like myself.
With our new design, there are several things I hope readers will come away with. I think you’ll find that we are more contemporary and more classy. Concepts like “simple is best, less is more,” will be our new mantra around the office.
One thing I’ve learned through this whole redesign process is that “design” is a fancy word for “plan.” If you have no plan, you have no design. And the word “plan” implies that we’ve given the look of our front page some forethought.
I hope readers understand we take our job of providing a community newspaper very seriously. We don’t just randomly throw things together without thinking it out and having a plan of what we’re doing. Sometimes it feels like people don’t give us enough credit for what we do.
We want our design to work for our readers. We want it to be compelling. And, perhaps most importantly, we want to be true to our design style.
As I said from the time I took over two years ago, we are in hot pursuit of producing a quality newspaper that will entertain and inform readers of all ages.