Editorial: Your paper gets a new look

Published 10:05 am Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Welcome to the new, redesigned Albert Lea Tribune. We hope you like it.

The way we see it, a newspaper covers the times so it should change with the times. Here are some highlights:

• The current trend in newspapers is to have a color nameplate on the front, so you’ll see our name is Tribune blue, just like it is on our website.

• The look is meant to be bolder and easier-to-read. We are in an age of images and graphics, so we’ve placed an emphasis on the visual feel. It’s also sort of web-inspired. For instance, doesn’t that icon on the left of the pencil look like an iPhone app icon. Kind of, right?

• We got rid of some fonts we introduced nearly five years ago at the last redesign with font families we felt were more timeless: Georgia, Helvetica and Abadi. Web designers already know Georgia and Helvetica are prevalent online.

• Page 3 now features a calendar of events. Every day! Meetings will be published weekly in the Lifestyles section. What’s the difference? Most meetings happen regularly, like once a week or once a month. An event is a happening of greater importance and usually for more people. The real question is: Why didn’t we do this sooner? The daily events calendar a good idea for everyone.

• Page 3 also features a daily listing of the most clicked-on stories from AlbertLeaTribune.com. It is under the label Feedback, an area with tidbits from the site, such as the results of our polls or what’s happening at our Facebook site. Sometimes print readers can feel left out of what happens on our website. Feedback clues them in.

• Below you can find Snapshot Editorial, which is a photo that expresses an opinion. Cool, huh? It won’t run every day, but it runs often along with other neat new items you’ll find on occasion: Comic Relief, Press Conference, Quotes in the News.

• The Letters to the Editor now and then (not today) will highlight a short letter in a gray box as a reward for being pithy. A pithy statement is succinct yet full of substance and meaning.

• A big change on the Front Page is a rail on the left side. It has some teasers about what’s in the paper that day and the next, or even later in the week. Note that the rail is headed by a thing called the PM Report, a listing of briefs. A lot of times, there is news that is brief yet deserves to be on the front page. Something shouldn’t be buried inside the paper just because it is short. Now, these briefs have a home on the front. (Yes, on Sunday, it is called the AM Report.)

• Other improvements: obituaries for veterans get a color flag, Sports tells readers a featured game that is coming up, Weather now includes wind speeds. We’ll let you find the remaining changes as you go.