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Apr 5, 2010 3:19 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Press to debut redesign, new page size this week

Editor's Note: This article appeared on the covers of The Southampton Press and The East Hampton Press last week.
Apr 5, 2010 3:19 PM

The paper you’re holding in your hands will, in short order, be a relic of sorts: Next week, The Press will have a new look.

After more than a hundred years as a kind of “super broadsheet”—featuring pages that currently are a full 15 inches wide, a size still used by only a handful of papers nationwide—The Press will go to the new industry standard of 12-inch-wide broadsheet pages, comparable to the narrower page width adopted by The New York Times in 2007. The move will result in a slight reduction in printing costs, but it also is prompted by reader input: The anachronistically wide pages are a reminder of The Press’s long history as a source of news on the South Fork, but readers have long said the paper can be cumbersome to read simply because of its width. It also will allow advertisers to work with industry standard sizes in designing ads.

With the change in page size, the Press News Group also will introduce a redesign of all four editions. As executive editor, I must say that the redesign was a sensitive undertaking, for a variety of reasons.

Most importantly, we are proud of our current design. Shortly after Joseph P. Louchheim took over as owner and publisher of The Southampton Press from his father, Donald H. Louchheim, the Eastern and Western editions of the paper underwent the first significant redesign in a quarter century, modernizing the typography and layout, and adding color. Guiding the redesign, a process that took more than a year to complete, was Ed Henninger, a South Carolina-based design consultant who has worked with hundreds of newspapers and other publications throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.

The resulting design was an unqualified success: It was warmly received by readers, and lauded by peers in the newspaper industry. The two editions of The Southampton Press have won numerous state and national awards for design, most recently in this year’s Better Newspaper Contest sponsored by the New York Press Association, where the paper won Best Front Page.

“This redesign was obviously prompted by the switch in page size, but it also was time for an update,” says Mr. Louchheim, the publisher. “Every few years, it’s good to take a closer look, and freshen up the papers.”

Mr. Henninger, the design consultant who worked with the Press News Group again this time around, agrees that even a newspaper with an award-winning look should regularly undertake new ways to present the news—and it’s a point echoed in other industries. “Some designs are classics: the Mercedes, the Coke bottle, Shaker furniture, the Rolls-Royce grille, the grand piano,” he notes. “Over time, their design has evolved—but ever so slightly, and only when needed to allow for improvements. The point is that even these classics have been tweaked, tuned and taken to higher levels.”

The Press is obviously no Mercedes-Benz or grand piano, Mr. Louchheim says, “but if we want to improve, if we want to grow, we must change. We change to bring our readers newspapers that are more comfortable, better organized, easier to read, more polished and more professional.”

The redesigned Press that debuts next week will keep many elements from the current design, and slightly change others. Most notably, the nameplate for each edition—its signature, for all intents and purposes—will evolve, without becoming unrecognizable. There will be changes both subtle and significant: The fonts used for headlines, for example, will be all new for The Press, an elegant and versatile family of fonts known as Benton Modern Display. The font used for the body of stories will not change, although it will be tweaked slightly to make it more attractive and readable. Readers will notice other changes, too, such as photos to identify columnists and freelance writers, putting faces with the names and words.

A host of tiny layout changes, most of them hardly noticeable individually, are designed to give the pages of the paper more “air,” adding space between stories and packages, making them easier to read and better organized. The goal is also to make the paper less stodgy, but still sophisticated. “While downscaling our size,” Mr. Louchheim says, “we wanted to maintain—and even upgrade—our upscale feel. We wanted the look to be open and inviting.”

Although the page size will be reduced, the redesigned Press will use space more efficiently. A promise: The pages might look a little different after this week, but our approach to covering the communities we serve will not change.

We welcome feedback from readers once the newly redesigned editions of The Press appear next week.

Joseph Shaw

is executive editor of the Press News Group, which includes the two editions of The Southampton Press, The East Hampton Press, The Press of Manorville and The Moriches, and the community website 27east.com.

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Very cool! Good luck, guys!!
By Robert I Ross (248), Hampton Bays on Apr 13, 10 8:40 PM
"The Press will go to the new industry standard of 12-inch-wide broadsheet pages, comparable to the narrower page width adopted by The New York Times in 2007."

"Industry standard?" In other words, the cheap stuff.

I do most of my reading online, but a real newspaper is a broadsheet.
By BobbyH (44), Southampton/NYC on Apr 13, 10 10:29 PM
I remember printing the old broadsheet psges. What a wide plate that was. This will only be for the better

By artizt101 (29), Hampton Bays on Apr 14, 10 12:54 PM
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