I was chatting with my friend Beth who works in our corporate office last week and she mentioned that the big wigs were starting to talk about the sorry state of design at many of our papers. “We keep telling people this isn’t your father’s Business Journal, but they look like your father’s Business Journal,” was her comment. But unifying the look of 40 papers is no small feat, especially when you consider that our market sizes range from Birmingham small to San Francisco big.
So I was thinking about fresh looks and our ever-present art problems (the biggest being that the bigger the story, the less likely it is to have any art whatsoever) and realized that the Portuguese newspaper i had kinda solved both issues. Above is a couple of rough concepts that use i‘s modular blocks of big type, but scaled to a 54″ web and with a more conservative, “adult” color palette.
Now this, I guarantee you, is not the Business Journal of the future because they would never rebrand the papers to Biz (though everything seems to bear some form of that name: BizJournals.com, BizLeads, BizSmarts, etc.) It also lacks a certain simple sophistication that I would prefer to see, but it would be pretty replicable across all our markets. Eh. Anyway, just a thought.