Fresh design brings classic, consistent newspaper look

April 2, 2014 

Newspaper folks tend to resist change. We like routines, and we expect our jobs to remain relatively consistent on a day-to-day basis.

But the world doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes, change is good.

You’ve probably noticed your newspaper looks a little different today. At the same time, it probably looks familiar.

This week, our weekly publications, including the Puyallup Herald, have adopted the overall characteristics of our sister papers, both The News Tribune and The Olympian.

The change is two-fold: First, we like the look and feel of the classic newspaper. The added vertical lines help readers stay aligned with the story they’re currently reading. Second, it’ll help us make an early summer transition to a new computer system that will allow for greater communication between the Northwest McClatchy newspapers. Adopting existing fonts and styles will help that process as its built in a custom format that will allow us to maximize our ability to share content.

So, what’s new?

For starters, we’ve dropped the column of briefs on our front page that tells readers what they can find inside the paper. We’ll still put highlights on the cover, but they’ll be more dynamic with photos that lead into other sections, particularly sports.

That also opens up our ability to design the front page in a more eye-catching fashion. For the past couple years, that column of headlines limited our options to about three standard looks. It was a consistent design, but it got old.

You’ll also see columnists above the fold, particularly with sports reporter Jon Manley and his commentary, “From the Bullpen.” That move puts our voices in prime position, and it also opens up the rest of the page for more pleasing design features.

You’ll also see quick links in print to specific sections on our website. That way, you can more easily navigate to what interests you most.

At the story level, you’ll now see the general topic in bold above the headline. That will allow readers to more quickly identify what the story will cover.

Some features remain the same. Our Around Town page will continue to be the location for Cheers & Jeers, as long as readers continue to submit them (, as well as our list of public meetings.

And you’ll still be able to find ways to contact reporters and others at the newspaper at the end of most stories. Our content and mission remain the same.

As always, we hope you’ll provide feedback on what you like or don’t like.

We hope you’re open to the change.

Brian McLean: 253-358-4150 Twitter: gateway_brian

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