Today marks a new era for the Chicago Tribune, with a radically new layout and design.
I’m still wading through it, and it’s going to take some time to adjust to it and give this re-invention a full assessment. Clearly, the Internet has wielded a major influence on the design and sensibility of the latest incarnation. Its graphics, splashes of color and layout include a quasi-navigation bar to guide readers throughout the various sections, for example.
It’s no coincidence that Jane Hirt (right) was at the helm of the paper’s graphics-heavy, short-attention-span-friendly RedEye edition before her August appointment as the Tribune‘s managing editor.It’s easy to look at the Tribune today and dismiss it as a superficial and shallow product. But that would be a superficial, shallow judgment.
The truth as to the Trib‘s relative commitment to hard-hitting, public-service journalism lies in the content between and amidst the colorful layout. And if the layout can more effectively lure a new generation of readers to those stories, then the redesign will have been a success.