Chat: Redesigns

Subject: Chat: Redesigns
From: geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA
Date: Wed, 7 May 1997 08:28:04 -0500

Excerpted from Montreal's _Hour_ magazine (May 1-7/97
issue, p. 6), all typos mine:

"As anyone in the business can testify, redesigning a
newspaper is the easiest thing in the world to do. It's a
breeze! All that is required is to bring together your
journalists and editors--a group that is quick to find
consensus on subjective matters--place them in an airless,
Perrier-free room, and prohibit their exit until they agree
on a new look. A piffle, compared to the trials of everyday

"The next step is to get an art director to bring that look
to life--no more than two dozen attempts should be
necessary. It is advisable also to require the art director
to continue working a regular shift on the newspaper: the
deadline pressures help make the creative sap run. Then
back into that airless room for more jolly consensus-
seeking, this time enlivened by the participants'
ever-growing enthusiasm for a process that has by now
lasted four months.

"Finally, the big day arrives. The new 'look' is made
public with dramatic fanfare, and all responsible are
reqarded by the inevitable response of their readers: no
one notices."--Peter Scowen, "Strictly business as unusual"

Anyone who's been involved in the publishing business for
any length of time should feel a strong sense of deja vu...
BTW, Peter writes a weekly column for _Hour_ that is
generally worth a read; I haven't checked, but I imagine
there are back issues and samples on the paper's web site
( something like that).

--Geoff Hart @8^{)} geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
Disclaimer: Speaking for myself, not FERIC.

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