Nip Tuck for the Chicago Tribune

So the Chicago Tribune has had a face lift. And some lipo and a tummy tuck. In fact, it’s so young and hip it’s even changed it’s name. Well, sort of.

Editor and Publisher “obtained” a possible prototype of the new design for the paper and it looks pretty snazzy. It is also marketing itself as “The Trib”- the paper’s longstanding nickname. I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad idea. It makes the paper seem more current. Which is the intent of the whole redesign. You could argue there is brand name associated with The Chicago Tribune and not The Trib, but I would say they’re the same thing. If it’s used enough, eventually people will think Trib = The Chicago Tribune.

But let’s look at this prototype and examine it a little bit.

Graphics:

I count six graphics on this page, not including the numbers at the bottom. The reader is immediately drawn in by whoever that woman’s face is. The bottom graphics attract readers’ attention, so they continue to read down the page.

Text

There is significantly less text on this page than a normal front page. That is the cover page and there are really only two stories on it. Readers don’t tend to go to the jump pages, so I’m interested why there is so little text.

Color

I really like how the masthead is black and white, or at least that’s what it looks like to me. The rest of the page also uses white space and color well. While the main graphic is in color, it isn’t really splashy. In fact, none of the pictures are. The page seems sophisticated.

OK, I don’t want to delve too deep into this page, especially because the E&P article says

“I would caution you against accepting anything you have as anything other than a work in progress,” said Tribune Co. Senior Vice President/Corporate Relations Gary Weitman. When asked if the prototype was among those still being considered, he said: “We are just not talking about it until it is debuted.”

The new debut should appear before the end of next month and I’m really interested to see how it looks.

What do you think of this possible page layout? I don’t know if this will help the paper, but at least it looks more modern.

UPDATE: The day after I wrote this post, another article came out in Chicago Business saying the Trib wasn’t using this at all. Oh well.

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