If you’re reading this, you no doubt have an opinion on the Nevada Appeal’s new design. And based on the feedback I’ve received in the past week, it’s probably a strong one.
Most readers have said they like the “clean” look — that word comes up a lot — and some have had quibbles and questions. This column is aimed at shedding light on what we’ve done, and why.
A few callers asked why we’d shrunk the type in stories. The typeface is different, but the size is the same as before. There’s slightly more space between lines and words, which is aimed at improving readability. (If you’re curious, the font names are Myriad Pro, Miller Text, Miller Display and Benton Sans.)
Several people asked about the fact that we’ve got fewer labels atop our inside pages. Mike Higdon, an editorial systems administrator with Swift Communications who was instrumental in creating the Appeal’s new look, said the reasons are twofold: the larger headers were taking up space that could instead be used for news, and themed content was sometimes spreading across multiple pages.
One reader speculated that the design change was a cost-saving measure. It wasn’t; our newspapers have the same amount and quality of news as before.
Numerous staff members deserve credit for the redesign’s success. Two who worked especially hard are Higdon and his colleague Emily Stott, both of whom began working on updating our new look last summer. They were 99 percent finished by September, Higdon said, and have been focusing on the remaining 1 percent — the details — since. He points out that the design is still being tweaked from day to day as we figure out what works best in practice.
It’s not just the Appeal that looks different; sister newspapers such as The Record-Courier, Lahontan Valley News and the Tahoe Daily Tribune also have been updated. Here’s what Higdon says about the thought process behind the changes:
“We needed a cleaner, more consistent approach to designing the newspapers in the region,” he said, adding, “Our papers needed a modern look and the more simple that look, the longer it lasts.”
I’ve enjoyed talking with many of you about the changes. You’re always welcome to drop me a line about any topic at the email address below.
Editor Brian Sandford can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.