1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

L.A. Times redesign

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SF_Express, Oct 23, 2006.

  1. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Times has given up it traditional, very unique (and some would say odd) 7-8 story front for something like what a lot of other places have been doing for a long time. No more Column 1, etc.:


    As a former Southern California resident, I think it's too bad, but I'm not in one of their focus groups.

    I didn't put this on the design thread because nobody has posted there for a while, and this is more about the paper's direction than just a redesign.
  2. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

  3. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    As someone who grew up in Southern California and with the Times, I don't like it. But I'm a traditionalist and also understand the looks of things also have to change It was different and unique. Now, it looks like one of many papers out there.
  4. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    Kevin Drum, the political blogger for Washington Monthly and OC resident, hated the new design.
    Does anyone get the following? Newspaper reading is a habit. Readers are creatures of habit. They don't like changes. Management likes changes because it's a substitution for figuring out how to make money off Internet readers, which no one has yet.
    A prediction: The Times will lose three readers for every one attracted to the new design-AT A MINIMUM.
    The executives who oversaw the change will receive substantial bonuses for their work.
  5. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    I don't think there's anything too radical in the redesgn but, as Gee says, readers are creatures of habit and this could disrupt them just enough to lose more readers than it gains.
    Again, we are not going to hold/gain readers by making it look different. We have to give them something to read that interests them...whatever the hell that may be.
  6. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    It's funny, too, because I like to think I'm an innovative thinking guy.

    But their traditional look WAS innovative, in a sense. It was uniquely the Times.

    This, again, looks like 100 other newspapers to me.

    Also, I agree with Michael: There seems to be this thinking out there that if we make newspaper pages look more like Web pages -- with a lot of "links" (basically, glorified reefers) and such -- that we're going to get people off the Web and back into the print edition.

    But since those refers aren't interactive, obviously, this seems entirely wrong-headed to me.

    Hell, why not just make Page 1 an index to the rest of the paper and be done with it?
  7. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Agreed, as usual, with SF. Taking Column One -- a daily, standing enterprise piece, usually -- for refers and bigger art is wrong. But, like SF, I'm not in their focus group or have their paper delivered to my doorstep.
  8. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    I like the fact that it's clean and dignified. They didn't go for a lot of gadgets and gimmicks. They didn't overdo it. It's the type of page I could imagine laying out. Too many papers have a lot of junk on it for the sake of "multiple points of entry," a concept that I believe distracts readers more than attracts them, anyway.

    I don't really see that it was necessary to redesign, but it could have been a lot worse. I give it kind of a lukewarm "good job." The one thing I think they have to really watch out for is keeping the centerpiece's appearance fairly consistent. You lose the old structure and designers tend to want to push it a bit -- and that's the way you start to lose identity on the newsstands. I hate to use the word "branding," but the old look was part of that. You start a daily renegade tweak of the look -- why don't we try this font? maybe a silo here? -- and in a few months the whole thing starts to fall apart. Before, readers could tell by looking at the LAT, "This is a serious newspaper." I don't think the redesign kills that, but it offers the potential to kill it. The person in charge of design must be vigilant about enforcing a design stylebook.
  9. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Frank: You said they have to be careful they might lose their identity on the newsstands. I think they already did that. As noted earlier, their front page already was unique. It WAS their identity. And now it's gone. To me, it's change for the sake of change.
  10. mfriesen

    mfriesen New Member

    I'm not sure where this notion that Column One is gone came from. Baquet's Sunday A1 note said: "Column One, long a showcase for The Times’ best story-telling, will be presented more dramatically." And if you look at today's A1, it's right there, in, er, column one.
  11. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    You're right....but I kind of liked it the other way.

    I guess I'm one of those older readers who don't like change.
  12. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    You bet. That's why I said the old look was part of their branding and that I didn't see a necessity to redesign. What I'm saying is that now that they've done this, at least be consistent with the look. For whatever reason, they scrapped the old identity. What's important now is to build an identity of some sort. They can't do that if the designers are allowed to run amok like at a 50K paper, and the look changes constantly.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page