In 1996, Nintendo 64 was released, Tupac Shakur was shot and killed, Noah’s Bagels opened its first outpost in Portland, Dolly the Sheep was cloned and the Fox Tower broke ground. It was also the last time we redesigned this newspaper.
It’s about time for a new look, don’t you think?
Many months ago, we engaged the good folks at Leopold Ketel&Partners to direct the makeover. Their charge? As LKP creative director Andrew Reed puts it: “We wanted to tap into the vitality that is the heart of WW . We wanted people to realize that they were missing something if they didn’t pick up the paper each Wednesday.”
Reed’s redesign includes hundreds of changes. Here are a few obvious ones:
We changed our logo (for the sixth time in our almost 33 years of existence), emphasizing WW rather than Willamette Week .
We’ve shortened the height of the paper by one inch to aid our design and reduce, by a bit, our printing costs.
We’ve changed our typeface, from Officina to Chronicle and, for our listings, Gotham.
We’ve created a new section in the middle of our paper that will focus on all matters of living in Portland (our stories this week on bleached sphincters and old-school video-game addicts suggest that the topics will vary wildly).
Overall, we’ve tried to design a paper that eases navigation, emphasizes the curiosity and independence of our journalism, and makes room for the growing range of coverage that this city and the more than 400,000 of you readers demand.
Virtually everyone who works here had something to do with this effort, but a few stand out: content production manager Laura Atkinson, art director Maggie Gardner, senior editorial designer Thomas Cobb and Arts&Culture editor Kelly Clarke.
We look forward to the praise and criticism that will head our way as you let us know your thoughts about this effort. But here’s a thought: Journalism today is mostly practiced by those who engage in lots of dry reporting and little attitude or lots of attitude and little reporting. Our aspiration has always been something else—to provide the most dynamic coverage of news and culture in the Portland area. This redesign is intended to help us keep hitting that goal.
Let us know how we’re doing.
—Mark Zusman, Editor
UPDATE: Read more about the response to our new logo on WWire .