We Have an Issue: A Few Words About Our Redesign
Chronicle Editor Kim Jones talks about our new look and new features
This week we launch a new look for our newspaper, including a redesigned Austin Chronicle masthead – only the sixth in the paper's 39-year history – and an overall style overhaul, all courtesy of Art Director Jason Stout. It's been five years since our last print redesign, and we all agreed we needed a sprucing up.
That conversation began several years ago. That's fairly standard here at the Chronicle – nimbleness is not always the forte of print media – but the more we talked about the redesign, the more we realized we weren't just talking about a cosmetic lift. That led to a lot of searching conversations about what we do, how we do it, and why we do it. These weren't always easy conversations, but they were essential ones – existential ones, even – and we're still having them.
In truth, nothing has changed all that radically, not with the layout or with our reason for being. We're a community newspaper. The changes we've made, we've made in an effort to better communicate with the community and better listen to the community.
So what are some of the new features to look for in our redesign?
We've revived and reimagined a feature from the early Aughts of the paper, "Naked City," which will expand the number of stories we tell every week from every pocket of Austin. We're throwing more emphasis on our cover stories, giving them the space and thoughtful design they deserve. We're launching an opinion page and welcoming readers to submit their own op-eds – unedited and unmediated by us. (I'm pretty sure this is a first for the Chronicle, but I could be wrong; we're not great at recording our own history, as it's often handed down orally and with the heavy fug of weed.) And you'll be hearing more from me every week, too. Consider this column a welcome to the issue, and a peek behind the curtain, where I'll try to be more transparent about the inner workings of the Chronicle.
There's something else new to this page, so tiny you might miss it:
Founded in 1981 and committed to a progressive point of view, The Austin Chronicle is an independent, locally owned and operated alternative newsweekly.
It's the "who we are." Simple, straightforward. That hasn't changed either, not with this redesign, or in the past four decades, but sometimes it's just good to be reminded.
Online This Week
How LGBTQIA Design Has Evolved in Austin: Beth Sullivan charts the visual history of Austin's LGBTQ movement in punk fliers, queer publications, and more.
"This Is Not a Urinal": Check out a photo gallery of playful, passive-aggressive, and occasionally just aggressive-aggressive notes Chronicle staff have posted around the office.
The Signs Are Everywhere: You drive past them every day, but how well do you know Austin signs? Take our quiz online.
The Q&A Hole Returns: Watch the trailer to see which musicians (including Peelander Yellow, pictured) Kevin Curtin is chatting up in season 2.
This Week on Austin Chronicle Show on KOOP 91.7FM
Austin Chronicle Publisher Nick Barbaro and Art Director Jason Stout join Editor Kim Jones to discuss the redesign and reflect on 40 years in the newspaper business.
Tune in Fridays, 3pm, to KOOP Community Radio. Past episodes at austinchronicle.com/av.