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DMN's makeover du jour — Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Football_Bat, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    It's only been two years since the last one — that old design was getting really tired. ::)

    I swear they are trying to look like the Startlegram more and more.

    Somebody made the joke they made the section flags with big fat crayons.

    Otherwise, they are now using rules between stories with a lot of white space (they also went to a 46-inch web.) It's a cleaner look. They are also using labels above heds.

    Any thoughts from the Metroplex gaggle?
  2. I haven't had a chance to look at one physically, but it looks pretty solid by what I've seen online. I'm not a big fan of the new mastheads ... they could have kept the old one and it would have looked better, IMO.
  3. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    Saw it today and thought, "meh". Didn't do much for me. Seems like the copy hole on each page is smaller.
  4. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Active Member

    This thread .... useless ... &c.
  5. FileNotFound

    FileNotFound Well-Known Member


    It's just a little nudge. Nothing terribly radical. Finally getting the right sans-serif font that they didn't get in the '01 redesign.
  6. "Easier to hold." That is the shit they are passing off as the positive of smaller pages?
    I'd buy that if they shrunk the pages but put in more of them, which I'd bet good money they didn't.
    As a person with a brain, I'm a little insulted by the "color" and "navigation" entries.
  7. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Anybody aware of any redesign that actually resulted in circulation gain. I've heard of many that cause sudden drops in circulation. Kind of like waking up to a familar face for years and suddenly being confronted by a stranger in the morning. I do hope it gets the design editor and the editor the new gigs their pining for.
  8. BigSleeper

    BigSleeper Active Member

    Redesigns typically will result in a slight bump in single-copy sales driven by the curiosity factor. A small fraction will dig it and wish subscribe, another (older) fraction will insist you made the font too small (even if you made it larger and easier-to-read), some will say you still suck. All in all, if a redesign is simply about aesthetic and not really about changing the way you present the information, then the impact will be small.

    The DMN's tweaks are nothing ground-breaking, which I applaud. I don't care for some of colors they selected, but I've seen worse. Any redesign that steers clear of turning the paper into a daily clown college brochure like Bakersfield is a good thing. A very good thing.
  9. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Active Member

    Looks not just slightly, but almost exactly like the Lexington Herald-Leader.
  10. robschneider

    robschneider Member

    Hey, everyone, this is Rob Schneider, I'm the one who worked on these design changes.

    I wouldn't call it a redesign by any means. Just tried to make the body type easier to read and clean up a bunch of stuff. I guess Football_Bat is referring to the section flags we changed a few years ago, but the paper hasn't really had major design changes since it last redesigned in 2001.

    We converted to the 48" web and that's the reason for the design changes (we had to change the templates anyway, so it was a good chance to try and make the paper better). It wasn't circulation driven, just trying to make our readers happier with the product since we had to make it smaller anyway.

    2muchcoffeeman, I'm sorry, I don't see the resemblance between Lexington.
    http://media.kentucky.com/static/pagepdfs/a1.pdf. Maybe I'm just too close and I just don't see it.

    DemoChristian, I'm sorry you were so insulted by the "Easier to hold", "color" and "navigation" entries. Research we did for these design changes and research and comments others papers have gotten from the switch to a narrower page indicates that some people do think it's easier to hold. And I'm hearing that on my voice mail today. Not everyone, of course, but some people like holding the smaller size. The biggest changes were in using navigational colors for section and the spacings and rules between stories to help add some organization and structure to the pages, so we wanted to highlight them. It's too bad you were insulted by them.

    No doubt, the biggest changes were the body type and the colored section flags. It's a big difference and no doubt isn't ideal from a pure design standpoint, but it was hard for me to argue with the functionality of the navigational section color and the feedback we got told us that our readers were going to like it. And it's certainly not a new concept by any means.

    Anyway, I'll love to hear what others think, positive or negative. Especially those of you who actually see it every day. And with the anonymity of this site, I know I'll get the unvarnished truth!
  11. Assuming you are being honest about who you are, I give you a lot of credit for coming on and responding to our comments.
    My "easier to hold" is based on my own assumption. Did your newshole get smaller? If it did, you have to do what you can to spin it for readers. I understand that. I don't mean to criticize you for saying what you can, but an "easier to hold" paper is not nearly as good as a paper that has more content.
    The colors thing and navigation thing I just thought were silly. I'm sure some readers will like that, but like virtually everything we are having to do in papers now, it strikes me as pandering to the great unwashed.
    I mean, who cares about brigher colors? And who can't tell where a story starts and ends?
    Of course, I'm in the media, so I'm not exactly your target anyway, but I just hate what is happening to this industry because people are too stupid to see our value without bright flashing lights, you know?
    But you have to do what you can to get/keep readers, and it appears you are trying to do that. Keep it up. Some people, like myself, will bitch anyway, but it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with anger about the state of the industry and the idiots who are killing it (readers and management).
  12. VJ

    VJ Member

    Rob is good people and had a lot to do with the DMN's great SportsDay work the last decade.
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