The new (more readable) Boston Globe

By Steve Outing

The Boston Globe introduced a modest redesign of its print edition today. It’s nowhere near as dramatic as the recent redesigns by Tribune Co. papers, so the paper still looks like itself.

Kudos to whoever wrote the redesign FAQ. Sure, there’s the predictable “we’re improving the paper for YOU!” wording, but it’s also tempered with acknowledgments that, yes, some things are getting cut because we have to save money because, as you know, the newspaper industry is in real trouble. My impression reading Tribune Co. redesign announcements was that those admissions were mostly left out in favor of the “we’re putting new lipstick on the pig!” model of PR.

And here’s something smart that I noticed in the Globe’s FAQ:

“The font size for the entire paper was also increased slightly. We believe these changes will help improve the readability of the Globe.”

Very smart. Let’s acknowledge that readers who are sticking with print editions of newspapers are older. Increasing the font size to reflect that is a logical adjustment. (Of course, typography experts will say that it’s possible to monkey with font selection and x-heights to make body type more readable without actually increasing the font size.)

I’m a bigger fan of the Globe’s redesign than the flashier Tribune Co. ones, because the Globe appears to be going for improving quality and attractiveness that will keep its existing print readers around, while the Trib redesigns appear to be seeking to attract more younger readers to print (which I consider to be a fool’s errand).

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!