SND caught up with Ryan Hildebrandt, Creative Director at the Louisville Gannett Design Studio and SNDLou coordinator, to find out about the recent redesign launched by the Louisville Courier-Journal.
“Our approach to content and strong display remains the same – we’re just doing it better and with more breathing room,” he writes. “Our ‘Villes Team here in the Studio, led by Jennifer Herrmann, had a great partnership with the C-J newsroom, and fantastic support from everyone in the building on up to publisher.”
Original pages on the left, redesign on the right
From the start we wanted to focus on making the Courier-Journal more lively and colorful. We started with A1. We reorganized the top of the page, and took a simpler approach to the skyboxes.
The section flags were our biggest challenge. Over the past decade, our they had slowly become a bad episode of Hoarders – a receptacle for all the little bits and pieces deemed important. We cleaned up the mess, and added a Fleur de Lis. Despite not having an NFL team that touts the symbol, the Fleur de Lis is a beloved symbol in Louisville. Everyone reading this will see for themselves when they come to this city for SND’s Fall Workshop (you. yes you. register now).
Local front and center
We moved the Metro pages into the A-section, and hit readers with the Metro “cover” on page A3. This meant we had to rethink our approach to the Metro front, or most of the section would become jumps from A1 and the Metro “cover”. So, we ticked the story count down to 2-3 on the Metro cover, with only one story jumping. It’s really improved our display space on A3 and throughout the first section.
Re-thinking digital promos
Our digital only content at the C-J has exploded over the past year. We explored ways to make our digital promos in print more effective. We created “Courier-Journal.com In-Brief”. It’s a living page component that gives print readers some usable information before referring to our digital platforms. Each is a little longer than the typical promo, but the non-digital reader who won’t go to his desktop, tablet or phone still gets news and information out package. These will start to take different shapes and move around the page so they don’t become visually stale.
This broadsheet section returned to it’s original tab form with a new look.