The new look of the Hood River News

Hood River News gets a Facelift

Andy Taylor

Production Director

Eagle Media Lab

 

In the mid 1990’s, Hood River News (HRN) adopted a new design and style for their bi-weekly paper.  It has served them well for the past 20+ years, and it’s the foundation on which their new design was built.

Using Adobe CC’s suite of programs and built-in services like TypeKit, their new design almost mirrors the old with extremely similar fonts and styles.  A few minor tweaks bring new life to the paper giving it a fresh, more modern look.

The biggest difference with this design isn’t just on the page, but behind the scenes.  Previously, HRN reporters would build their own page in Quark.  They would print, mark, and apply editorial and design changes, often having it crash, and encounter missing font issues more times than they can remember.  Each reporter would spend more time designing the page than writing the story, resulting in stress on all sides of deadline day.

Two weeks before the switch was flipped on their workflow and design, InCopy was installed on every reporter’s machine and training began immediately.  They took to the new software like fish to water and wanted to learn all they could about how this new process would be executed on deadline day.

Deadline day came, and they were ready.  With only a few technical issues, that were resolved with some extra training during debrief, the paper went to press not long after normal deadline time.  Each deadline day thereafter, only sped up the process and gave the reporters more confidence, constantly tweaking their pre-deadline processes to generate the best outcome for the paper.

Small improvements in paragraph and character stylesheets saved seconds that turned into valuable saved minutes during paragraph formatting.  This generated a less stressful work environment and started making the job easier and more fun.

“Formatting ‘Happening’s’ is 1,000,000 times easier than Quark!” - - from employee T. Walker.

Overall, morale seems to have improved and there were even a few laughs - - yes, even during deadline day.