Paper introduces radical redesign,
but old-style problems still persist
Here are my first impressions of the “new” Orlando Sentinel, as sent to the editors via e-mail first-thing this morning:
THE PAPER LOOKS DIRTY. I’m not talking about the design, or the ink, but the newsprint itself. The paper is gray, dingy, and all of the new design is lost on it. The PDF version of the front page looks spectacular online, but my paper looks like it’s been run over a few times on I-4. (I’m going to buy another copy on the newsstand today to see if I just got a bad one.)
MORE COLOR MEANS MORE REGISTRATION PROBLEMS. When you add so much more color, you’re inviting problems with the print registration. For instance, in the colorful section banners (“Your Money,” “Travel and Arts,” etc.), some of the light-color on dark-color “refers” are so out of registration to be almost unreadable. The entire front page of my “Local News” is so badly out of registration that the seven candidates for U.S. House District 8 are unrecognizable as humans. (I’m going to buy another copy on the newsstand today to see if I just got a bad one.)
WHERE’S THE HEADLINE? Look at Mike Thomas’ page-one column (right). From the top down, there’s a little infographic with two maps of Florida, then his column sig, then a huge H and oversized body type, then some red type, then some bold black type, then more oversized body type, then large red type -- “The sea is coming.” -- then regular sized body type, then a completely unreadable refer graphic of some kind . . . Way, WAY too much going on here! So, what’s the headline? The sea is coming?
'CHEAP SEATS' CHEAPENS THE PAPER. Not only have you chosen to retain the most sophomoric feature in the whole paper, “The Cheap Seats,” you’ve made it bigger! This might be the worst use of valuable newspaper real estate in the nation! And the long-running “fat jokes” -- two big, fat professional eaters are prominently displayed today — are just old. It’s time for Jerry Greene to take the Tribune Co.'s buyout package.
TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING. Look at page C3 — it’s new design gone overboard! There’s just way too much going on here, and none of it feels connected. It’s the newspaper equivalent of my laundry-room closet — just keep pushing stuff in there, and hope the door stays closed. In “The Morning Buzz,” some of the labels and the headlines are longer than the news items.
Keep working on it, guys and gals . . .