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Drawing big designs for a better newspaper

Dear Readers,Last spring, I told you about an exciting project we were preparing to launch: a redesign of the Glenwood Springs Post Independent. Ever since the merger of the Glenwood Post and Glenwood Independent in November 2000, we have wanted to give the paper a facelift.Our project got off to a great start. We lined up one of the best consultants in the industry to work with us. We started asking ourselves serious questions about design and content. We tried to imagine what we could do to make the paper more attractive.But a few weeks into the effort, our consultant got a job offer that he couldn’t refuse, as the publisher of two major newspapers in New Zealand. With regret and many apologies, he backed out of our redesign project.We intended to get back on the horse right away, but you know what this past summer was like. We were doing our best to cover wildfires, mudslides, a murder and other events. But we didn’t forget our goal.Now, we have started the process again. We have assembled a new redesign team to work on this project.Andy Stone, former editor and publisher of the Aspen Times, is helping us get a handle on content. He has made a strong plug for a close-to-the front package of state, national and international news, in an effort to make the GSPI meet your basic need for news.Another familiar name in Roaring Fork Valley journalism, Roy Willey, is working with us on the visual aspects of the redesign. A former staff photographer and page designer, Willey is introducing us to new styles of type, called fonts, and new ways of looking at our news pages.Our ultimate aim is to produce a newspaper that is relaxing and easy to read, where the things you are looking for appear in predictable places.Now don’t get the idea that this means only soft news and boring reporting. We won’t shy away from disturbing or painful stories when such coverage is warranted. Our focus will remain on local, people-oriented news, with enough state, national and world stories from the wire services to keep you informed about the world you live in.The paper will have a fresh new look that will be more sophisticated and more accessible. We will use more white space, lines instead of boxes, and fonts that are easier to read. In fact, this column probably looks a bit different from the other stories in today’s paper. It is typeset in Stone serif, the new font we will be using for story text. Compare it to the Times New Roman font used elsewhere in the paper. I hope you’ll agree that Stone is easier on the eyes.As we get closer to the time of unveiling the new look (think reindeer and candy canes), I’ll be telling you more about this exciting change.For all you Internet news junkies, I’m happy to pass on a hot new Web site. Our sister paper, the Rifle Citizen Telegram, is now online at http://www.citizentelegram.com.The CT’s Web site works just like the PI’s. It’s loaded with the latest stories, letters, commentary and photos. Check it out!One other big change is also in the works.The classified advertising call center, which has been located at the Tamarack Building at 10th and Grand since it was launched in 2000, will be moving to the Post Independent building at 2014 Grand Ave. The move is set for Dec. 6-8, and the call center will open for business at the new location on Monday, Dec. 9.The call center employs 14 people. They take calls from classified ad customers all over Garfield, Pitkin, Eagle and Summit counties, and place classified ads in any of the four daily and five weekly papers owned by Colorado Mountain News Media.These folks will occupy a nicely remodeled space that was formerly used as the paper’s mailroom. Parking will be in the back of the building, and walk-in customers can use the south side door to go straight to that office.The classified ad call center is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, and can be reached by calling 945-9937, 625-9937 or 925-9937; by fax at 945-0777; or by e-mail at classifieds@cmnm.org.- Heather McGregor is the managing editor of the Glenwood Springs Post Independent.


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