newspaper design
classified design
web design
online design
newspaper redesign
classified redesign

Case study

Publisher Mike Brown had a problem. His 10,000-circulation Daily Record competed head-to-head with three other, larger dailies in northwest Arkansas. His closest competitor was about to launch a redesign with the help of well-known – but expensive – newspaper designer.

Mike had to respond. He needed to update the look of his newspaper to stay competitive. But he couldn't afford to outsource a complete redesign and stay within his budget. So he put his staff to work on a prototype.

Mike was pleased with the prototype they developed, but he didn't believe it was good enough to counter the competition. He needed outside help to polish the prototype, but he couldn't pay tens of thousands for it. And he didn't have much time – the new design had to be launched in a matter of weeks.

So he turned to Brass Tacks Design for a suite of services that helped him reach his goal, meet his deadline and stay within his budget.

We began by evaluating the existing product, the competition and the prototype developed by the staff. Then we traveled to northwest Arkansas to hear first-hand from the staff about their goals for the redesign. This led to several hands-on sessions with the design editor in which we reworked his prototype to enhance its usefulness and appeal. Then we led several hands-on sessions for users of QuarkXPress – providing shortcuts to increase their efficiency – and Adobe Photoshop, offering new techniques to improve the quality and consistency of their color reproduction. And finally, we helped the staff produce a punch list of tasks they needed to complete before launching their redesign.

The new design was launched ten days later, and the paper had never looked better.

Here's a list of the services we performed during the three days we spent with Mike's staff in Bentonville:
  • Led the staff in a session to identify goals and strategies for the redesign, emphasizing the importance of establishing means of measuring results

  • Worked shoulder-to-shoulder with the design editor to improve his prototytpe

  • Adjusted bodytype specifications to enhance legibility

  • Conducted hands-on sessions to improve users' efficiency with QuarkXPress

  • Recalibrated separation setup in Adobe Photoshop to improve color reproduction

  • Conducted hands-on sessions to improve users' proficiency with Adobe Photoshop and improve color reproduction

  • Helped the staff produce a punch list of tasks they needed to complete before launching their redesign.

Before redesign

After redesign