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Going through a redesign

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by HandsomeHarley, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. HandsomeHarley

    HandsomeHarley Well-Known Member

    I went through a complete newspaper redesign at a previous stop. The paper paid a consultant thousands of dollars to come in, redesign the paper, then train the newsroom staff on the changes.

    Fast forward to 2010 and a different paper (also owned privately, I might add).

    The managing editor and I are responsible for redesigning the entire paper.

    Yes, the two of us: The ME and the SE. And we're both salary, so we don't even get overtime.

    It's almost finished. The ME and I brainstormed what we wanted everything to look like, changing the front banner, headline fonts, subdecks, cutlines, styles, libraries, etc. She redesigned the front page and I redesigned the rest: Opinion, Education, Business, Agriculture, Food, Weddings, Sports, Inside News and Education.

    Our first day of changes is July 1. That's tomorrow. I'm almost finished. I'm also almost a zombie.

    Has anyone ever had to go through a challenge this big (and get paid so little)?
  2. apeman33

    apeman33 Well-Known Member

    I was afraid they were going to ask me to redesign the paper back in January but they held off because they might have realized I was going to snap.

    Also, all three papers in our group — the one I'm at, the sister paper and the weekend combined edition — would all have to be redesigned at the same time because the company was considering going tabloid size. Since they don't think I can do it with the double workload I'm doing now, they haven't been able to redesign the other two, either.

    And I'm thinking now the redesign has been pushed so far to the back burner, that it's actually fallen off the stove and is lying forgotten collecting mold. I kind of hope so because any new ME's first duty otherwise will be to redesign a paper he's not yet familiar with.
  3. That sounds like an incredible amount of work, HandsomeHarley, but it also sounds very exciting. Seems like you and a coworker got to give an entire paper a makeover, incorporating your own ideas and personality into the design.

    Still, considering you're salaried and didn't collect any additional cash, that's a lot of thankless work.

    So with the big day here, are you excited or nervous to see the new look tomorrow? I'd be curious to hear your reaction in the morning (or afternoon because it sounds like you're ready for some well-deserved sleep).
  4. HandsomeHarley

    HandsomeHarley Well-Known Member

    I'm actually quite exhilarated. And you're right: It is a fun once-in-a-lifetime challenge.

    I mean, we even got to change the banner.

    And it's something else to add to my resume. Can't hurt -- will probably get more mileage than state awards.

    And apeman, tell them you know a guy who will come in and consult on the redesign for $60,000. ::)
  5. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    I'm ambivalent when it comes to redesigns. I'm not one of these guys who enjoys nit-picking over fonts and type faces and such. I've made a lot of changes to our section as a copy desk editor, but never messed with the larger stuff.

    I'd want input on any MAJOR changes, though.

    Spend most of my time on content.
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