More Changes at the Observer

On the heels of the announcement that longtime editor Julie Lyons is leaving at the end of the year, the Dallas Observer just unveiled its latest redesign. It’s obvious before you even open a copy; the page is now an inch shorter. Not sure what, if anything, that does to them ad-wise. I mean, a quarter-page ad is still a quarter-page, right? The inside looks quite a bit different, too — new fonts and layouts and such. I like some of the changes and am definitely iffy on the others (something is not quite right about the columns section, for one thing). What do you think?

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5 comments on “More Changes at the Observer

  1. I agree. For the most part. I think the whole thing looks very 80′s. Which isn’t necessarily bad, but not likely what they were going for I’m guessing.

  2. I don’t mind the smaller size. As Nancy said in one of our edit meetings recently, more is more. But in this case, less might be more. Or less might be enough. The smaller pages mean fewer words. In most cases, that’s a good thing for the Observer.

    But the column designs are lousy. There’s a reason it’s called a subhead: because it goes under the headline. And the headline font is puny. Blech.

  3. The redesign is execrable. The font is reprehensible. And the header treatment is a registered sex offender.

    I agree it looks dated, although I would peg it mid-90s. Look at Web site design, though; it’s trended back to lots of white space, which is exactly how sites looked in 1996.

    Everything old…

  4. I thought the redesign looked pretty good–crisp and contemporary, much more “accessible” than the previous one. Looks like the paper’s real coup, though, is slashing its costs (through the smaller size) apparently without cutting its ad rates. Wonder how advertisers will take to that.