Wick Communications

I love the NYT redesign

In Design on March 3, 2017 at 9:13 am

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I love the newly redesigned A2 and A3 in the New York Times so much that I dropped the paper and sat down to tap this out. If you are looking for a constructive way to fill space when your AP contract runs out, read on. This is it.

The idea, according to a note that appeared on the day the new look was unveiled, was to provide a “a quick and engaging roundup” of what is found in the Times that day.

Page 2, at least today, includes the masthead, a table of contents, a “This Date in History” pulled from past editions, and a 400-word column called “Inside the Times,” which tells some inside baseball.

Page 3 is one-paragraph summaries of inside stories, a quote of the day, a look at the most viewed stories online, something called “spotlight” that might be a couple paragraphs about something you posted on Facebook with a photo, and a small bite called “Here to help.” It is a tip riffing off something in the news. (Today, it’s a suggestion that you watch the film classic “All about Eve” in advance of a new television series about the acrimony between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis.)

I could do something like this for our paper in an hour. Once the template was in place, I could paginate it in 45 minutes (because I’m slow.) …

This isn’t merely filler. It’s a tease into the rest of the news organization’s platforms. And, some have noted, it’s like a one-sheet that can read on the New York subway just to get an understanding of what’s going on that day.

There are 2-by-7 ads around the outside. (By the way, one of those ads is a Tiffany & Co. ad that has appeared in that spot since 1896. Wow.)

Imagine what you might do with that space. You have quotes of the day hidden in your journalism every day. This date in history is no problem for any of us. You could write quick sentences or paragraphs of inside stories as you edit them. Maybe you ad a photo of the day (which could be a reader submission.) You could write a column about some aspect of your internal process — challenges covering outdoor sports in the winter, having to file a public records request, what you saw at that fire down the street.

When we talk about jettisoning wire copy, we’re talking about re-imagining your pages with local content. If you can create something fun, useful, visually attractive and that teases your other stuff, you will have hit a home run, just like the New York Times.

— Clay

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