Jeremy Gilbert teaches and practices design-centered journalism. He works at Northwestern University, lives in Chicago and designs news and information.
The News-Press Redesign
June 4th, 2004
What we did, and why
We constantly conduct research into readers’ interests and needs, and we watch for trends. It became clear that our readers wanted expanded local content and an updated look. With this redesign, we offer three things: more local, regional and state news every day; three new sections to serve special reader interests; and a contemporary new look.
All about ease
Changes made to the typography and layout of The News-Press were all designed to make it easier for readers to use the newspaper. The type that we use for stories is now larger. Colors have been assigned to each section as visual markers for readers. And labels and dividing lines are being used to more clearly distinguish stories and topics.
Finding your way
We formerly used a left-hand column on page A1 to tell readers where to find information inside the newspaper. The narrow, static space confined our ability to showcase features that readers might enjoy â€” if only they knew about them. We’ve moved those items to a horizontal space to provide a better road map to the day’s newspaper.
About 80 percent of the material on a newspaper page is text. We’ve selected new type for our words, both stories and headlines.
Headlines: The primary news headlines will be Miller Headline, a serif type that is authoritative and highly readable. Relay, a sans-serif type, is crisp and contemporary. It will be used most often for feature stories.
The type used for stories is now slightly larger. More noticeable is that it is bolder. We’ve also increased the white space between lines of type because that makes reading much easier.
New body type: Poynter Old Style Text 3 (weight), 9.5 pts; 10.25 pt leading; -4.5 tracking; locked to a 10.25 pt baseline grid.
Old body type: Poynter Old Style Text 1 (weight), 9.4 pts; 9.7 pt leading; -6 tracking.
We will use labels to call attention to topics that are of especially high interest to our readers – topics such as education, environment and growth/development. Labeling allows us to give more specific information in the headlines themselves.
Navigate by color
Each section of The News-Press has been assigned a color. Sports, for example, is sand (we chose a color palette to reflect Southwest Florida). If a graphic or promotional item from Sports appears in another section, it will remain sand-colored as a visual clue for the reader.
The Cape: Expanded coverage of business, recreation, neighborhoods, churches and people.
Healthy Living: Fitness features, beauty/appearance tips and advice specific to subtropical life.
Real estate consumer: Advice for renters, columns on how to buy and sell and tips specific to Southwest Florida.
Expanded Local & State
Your Community: This daily page will host news of churches, clubs, neighborhoods and schools as well as a community events calendar.
Southwest Florida: This daily page pulls together information from around our region – Lee and neighboring counties.
Florida: This page spans all of Florida, from the Panhandle to the Keys.
Reorganized Gulf Coasting
Our entertainment guide has been organized by topic so information is easier to find. Many topics have been changed to at-a-glance grid formats.
Added: events around the state, roundup of events for kids.