The Washington Post today displays a new look, the first complete redesign of its news sections since the late Eugene Meyer bought the paper in 1933.
The newspaper hired Walter Bernard and Milton Glaser of WBMG Inc. of New York as consultants for the changes in graphics. The two, separately or together, had previously redesigned Time, Esquire, Fortune, Atlantic Monthly, New York and Adweek magazines, among other publications.
"We have been increasing the news hole steadily for the last 20 years," said Washington Post Executive Editor Benjamin C. Bradlee. "We have added new sections regularly. And the advertising space has kept pace. We felt it was time for a new look, emphasizing readability, clarity, organization and order. And we were lucky to get Bernard and Glaser to work it out, with their proven record of style and sense."
"Our aim with The Post was to enhance its strengths," said Glaser, "to make the reader and the advertiser more comfortable with the richness of the daily diet of news and features."
Among the changes in the redesign are: An index to the paper that will appear each day on Page A2. The index will give a short description of the major stories in the newspaper, section by section. A new format for columns of opinion and commentary in the news sections, to emphasize the distinction between them and news stories.
The columns will run in boxed form with bold Franklin Gothic headlines and distinctive body type settings. New mastheads for most inside sections. Metro, Sports and Business mastheads are set in Bauer Bodoni type and are larger than their predecessors. The Style section masthead is set in Bodoni italics, as are the masts for the Travel and Show sections on Sunday and the Food sections on Wednesday and Sunday. New styles for keyboxes highlighting stories in the Metro, Style and front sections. In Metro the keybox will note by region stories inside the section. On Page A1 a keybox regularly will give short summaries of stories inside the A section or in other sections of the paper. Keys to inside stories in Style are built into the new masthead. The headline and byline styles. The headline style of the paper will make more frequent use of smaller headlines under the main ones to give more detail about the story described. Bylines will be standardized in full-sized sections and will have rules above and below the reporter's name. The section that carries stories from abroad will now be labeled World News, both when the stories begin in a separate section and when they run inside the front A section. In addition, other typographic and layout changes have been made to enhance readability, including a shift in body type style to Century Oldstyle. That change occurred in July to aid production as the newspaper shifted to standard advertising units, part of a national trend.
Glaser and Bernard have worked for more than a year with The Post's production, circulation, makeup and advertising units as well as the news department while creating the paper's new look.
"This is the first step in a continuing process," said Bernard. "Our hope for the redesign is that when a reader opens the paper, he or she finds nothing startlingly or dramatically changed. We want the reader to feel that the paper is more clearly organized and easier to read."
The Washington Post has designated a telephone number, 334-7969, that readers may call to request information on the redesign or to express opinions about it.