1. Monday, September 29, 2008

    hey tony, what do you think of the Chicago Tribune redesign? 

    so glad you asked.

    i think its pretty ok. way better than i expected. and probably overdue.

    heres a few things people dont understand about the modern newspaper.

    even if Craigslist and Monster.com and the entire Internet hadn’t perfect stormed all over the newspaper industry, newspapers (and much of publishing) were still overdue for some major competition.

    think about it, other than utilities, how many industries can thrive for over 100 years without Life throwing them a curveball or three?

    if the auto industry, the music industry, and the airline industry – among many others – are in deep trouble, why should newspapers think they are so special to avoid some pretty massive aches and pains.

    and when you’re back is up against it, you either tap out or adjust. seems to me tv news reinvents its sets almost every other year, yet newspapers are very slow to make major facelifts.

    however if youre ever lucky enough to visit the LA Times and walk through the main hallway on the first floor you will see many famous front pages over our long history. one thing you will notice – very few front pages look alike. over the years the only thing that has remained constant is constant change to the look of the page.

    people like to whine about ads, but if you look at the front page of the Times way back in the day there were ads on the front page. people like to whine about how things dont look the same as when they first feel in love with newspapers. time to get over it. change happens, sometimes it happens too slowly.

    even my beloved Wrigley Field, the most perfectly designed thing ever, has seen constant change over the years. even Harry Caray was an improvement at one time.

    likewise the Chicago Tribune is meeting 2008 with a newspaper that looks a lot more like 2008 than it did yesterday. no it doesnt look anything like the paper i grew up with before it was improved with guys like Mike Royko. but guess what, this isnt 1982 anymore.

    i look at that as good news.

    video tour of the new trib + section by section tour