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Democrat and Chronicle Redesign 2011

For much of the second half of 2010 and the first half of 2011, I led a massive redesign project at the Democrat and Chronicle. Our design team had been tasked with the redesign of the entire newspaper. In the past, I had redesigned Sunday 1A, Sunday Business and the Our Towns products, but this would be the biggest redesign project I had been given at the Democrat and Chronicle.

We had several main pillars of what the redesign should accomplish. We wanted to increase the sense of place in the newspaper. We wanted to add better navigation and more color. And we wanted to highlight our local personalities.


Sunday 1A (Before and after)
Not much changed on Sunday 1A. The blue bar folio makes an appearance here.


Monday 1A (Before and after)
The daily version of 1A is where a lot of changes could be seen. We replaced the old rail with a wider one, giving readers a deeper digest-type look at what an edition of the newspaper has in it. Colors in the overline were standardized (gone is the blue). We added an above-the-fold weather refer. (It's Rochester — people love to talk about the weather.) Cover stories also have a new labeling system, allowing readers to scan the page for topics that appeal to them while still maintaining a clean look for readers who will read everything on the page.

Sunday Local/ROCNews (Before and after)
The biggest change for the Local section was that it became the ROCNews section. The renaming of sections was part of our push to create a greater sense of place and incorporate Rochester more deeply. Like 1A, ROCNews now has the wider rail, consisting of news briefs and key items happening on that day. Columnists all received redesigned sigs, updating mugs and tying in the section color with the columnist.


Monday Local/ROCNews (Before and after)
Daily ROCNews' rail also featured an In ROCBusiness item, allowing us to remind readers that Business is inside the section. This feature also let us get color art from Business into the newspaper, as the section usually runs in black and white.

Sunday Business (Before and after)
As the Sunday Business section had recently had its own redesign, we didn't change much. You can see the section's signature green color featured more heavily though.


Monday Business (Before and after)
Monday Business didn't see too many changes either. As Monday Business covers a day when the markets are closed, there's little live news on the section front.


Sunday Living (Before and after)
Living is another section that had its own redesign within the past year. Purple did become the section's signature color with this redesign. As the endnote on this entry will remind you, pages with asterisks in the lower right corner are pages that I didn't design. While the Living pages are shown here in order to give a full scope of the redesign, Sarah Crupi was the driving force on this section's redesign.


Monday Living (Before and after)
Daily Living featured a Daily Dose element at the bottom of the cover.

Sunday Sports (Before and after)
Like 1A and ROCNews, Sports shifted to the wider rail. The Democrat and Chronicle sports writers often have great enterprise pieces running on Sundays, so a higher level of design for this section front was a key part of the redesign.


Monday Sports (Before and after)
Daily Sports reflected the Sunday version for most parts, with the exception of a downpage column. The Democrat and Chronicle's well-known Bob Matthews anchored the page on most days. Best of the Blogs pieces and light, slightly eccentric interviews with local athletes would also run in that space.

*I didn't design pages with asterisks. They're show here for comparison.
Bill Kuchman
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