Along with a new masthead, Gayle has been working on a new overall look for The Journal. In addition to the qualities we talked about embodying (integrity, tradition, credibility, etc.) I have been stressing a look that has visual elegance and straightforwardness.
That sounds pretty subjective, I know, but I think our values as a newsgathering organization have to be embodied in how we present that news. To me, straightforwardness and integrity require that we manipulate our content as little as possible. And that means as a rule, we avoid close-cropping or fading out photos, for instance, or introducing gimmicky typefaces that distract readers from the information. (Many of you in the newsroom have already heard this rant.)
Gayle and I have done a lot of work together over the years. She and I were colleagues for a couple of years at The Gazette in Montreal, and we collaborated on a redesign of the Times Colonist in Victoria when I was there. So when we talked about all of this, she understood what I meant. She has been playing with a number of different typefaces and styles that reflect what we are striving for as a new image, as well your beefs about our current style, especially those of copy editors who had specific observations about the labour-intensive or problematic nature of some of what we do now.
Here is an early glimpse of some of her ideas. Please note: this is not the final design. These are not the final typefaces. This is not the new masthead. These are not the final styles. So please don’t get distressed by the fact that the decks are in italics or the headlines are in capital letters or other such matters. This is a highly preliminary version of what will eventually become our new design.