The Independent Mail of Anderson, S.C. — in the northwest corner of the state — launched a redesign Tuesday.
The 22,625-circulation daily bucks a bit of a trend by converting from a Berliner format to a broadsheet. The Independent Mail has been a Berliner since late 2006 — it was reportedly the second U.S. paper to move to that format.
On the left, here, is the front page from Tuesday, March 24. On the right is yesterday’s relaunch front.
Tim Thorsen — a senior editor for Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers in Stuart, Fla. — tells us a little about the redesign:
Susan Kelly-Gilbert (publisher) and Steve Mullins (editor) really drove the train. My job mostly centered on answering questions and kicking out prototypes and making tweaks they suggested.
Not much to do style-wise, as we didn’t really change much of anything along those lines. The real work was done behind the scenes with ads and newsprint and all the stuff that allows us to actually produce a newspaper.
Here’s a closer look at the new front page:
Jorge Vidrio (Scripps design editor in Corpus) created the new nameplate/flag/identity.
The increase in page sizes allowed the Independent Mail to shuffle around much of its newshole. Here’s a before-and-after look at page A2, which now holds mostly entertainment and light briefs.
The new format allows the Independent Mail to add larger labels at the top of each section. Local and State news begins on page three.
Nation and World begins on page 7A.
Here’s what a typical A-section jump page looks like.
The serif headline font you’re seeing there is
- Madison Narrow /medium
- Madison Narrow /bold
The san-serif headline font is:
- AntennaExtraCond / bold
Tim tells us:
The big thing was figuring out how many pages the A and B sections would be — what would give us a balance between the space we had as a tall tab and the space we need.
We’ve also built some efficiencies into the process. The top of 2A and all of the first Nation/World are done by the Central Desk in Corpus Christi.
Here’s a before-and-after look at the editorial page, which the Independent Mail calls “Views.”
With high school football huge in this part of South Carolina and Clemson University only a few minutes up the road, sports is a very important part of the Independent Mail. Here’s a before-and-after look at the sports front:
Page two of sports is the “Fanfare” page, including a daily calendar, this day in sports history and sports briefs.
Here’s a typical inside sports page.
As you can see here, the agate page didn’t really change at all. A few inches of wire was tacked onto the top.
The Biz page is new and is about 90% paginated by the Associated Press.
The advice columns move onto the puzzles page…
…and the comics consolidate into a single broadsheet page.
Daily weather — produced by Accuweather — doesn’t change at all, as far as I can tell.
Full disclosure No. 1: I was born in Anderson and read the Independent Mail whenever we were in town visiting family. I still have family in Anderson.
Full disclosure No. 2: I interviewed two times for two different jobs at the Independent Mail not long after I graduated college in 1984. I landed neither.
Full disclosure No. 3: I love the typography and the organization of the new-and-improved Independent Mail. But I’m going to miss that Berliner format. I really liked the size.