The Mario Blog
06.22.2008—8pm
Orlando Sentinel

COLOR WEEK CONTINUES: Above, two pages from the new Orlando Sentinel’s redesign, both using black as a strong component of its headers. Not a bad idea if used in small units.

blog post image

BLACK IS BACK?: The Sentinel sports a black reversed nameplate, and accentuates section page headers at the very top with a strip of black. Not bad.

TAKEAWAY: : : Behold the color black, and pay tribute to those reverses that were the “only color” layouters had for decades, before other colors became available to them

Florida’s Orlando Sentinel unveiled its much discussed new look Sunday, and I have received almost a dozen emails from here and there, with one main question or concern:

What do you think of this black reverse nameplate?

Oh, the mails echo a variety of feelings:

“This is not like Central Florida at all,” commented one correspondant.

“Don’t tell me that we are going back to black as a trend for newspaper flags!,” wrote a Swedish designer.

“Is this part of the new ugly?,” an Ivy League university student asked.

“I tend to like it, but isn’t too tabloidy and sensationalistic?” wrote a design director from a broadsheet daily in India.

I think it works for this newspaper, even though we associate the Central Florida area with Disney World’s midnight parade, oranges and colorful space shuttle launches. Why do I think it works? If used properly, and in small canvases (the nameplate is not necessarily small, but the designers of the Sentinel have done the right thing by surrounding it with tons of bright colors), black can be a good accent to bring contrast to a page.

The fact that there are hardly ANY black reversed nameplates anywhere will give those Orlando readers a bit of a shock or surprise, and it will make their newspaper stand out in the stands, or the coffee table for that matter.

Long before we had color as we know it today, there was black as THE COLOR. The Brits used and overused what they called “wobs” (white on black). To this day they continue to do so. Has anyone read The Sun, or The Daily Mail lately? And Bild Zeitung in Germany has black and white as top colors in their palette.

I think the Sentinel has a distinct page one look, and one I hope they can keep producing day to day with content that does it justice. This is not a traditional US newspaper page. I wish I had participated in the meetings when prototypes were presented to the editors.

It is a bit tabloidy, indeed, but that is good in my way of thinking. Wake them up, and squeeze that orange juice in their face; pull them by their Mickey Mouse ears, and show them that an American newspaper does not necessarily have to be dull, or aimed to please the Mamie Eisenhowers of the world.

As in any other redesign, some will love it, others will hate it, but I give the Sentinel staff and its designers a B+ for effort, and for their adventurous spirit.

WE SEND YOU: For more on the Sentinel redesign, go

http://www.visualeditors.com/apple/2008/06/an-in-depth-look-at-the-new-and-improved-orlando-sentinel/

http:www.newsdesigner.com

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/

WHERE IS MARIO? Flying between Frankfurt and Lagos, Nigeria

Blog Post11.21.2017—1am
So 2017 was really NOT the year of video……
Blog Post11.20.2017—1am
The New York Times: the Spanish weekly
Blog Post11.17.2017—5am
Paywalls, storytelling highlight Latin American conference
Blog Post11.15.2017—5am
In Argentina: the hot topic is “paywalls”
Blog Post11.14.2017—1am
The NY Times’ Jobs Classified: Really?
Blog Post11.13.2017—1am
At The New York Times: a kids section on Sunday
Blog Post11.10.2017—12am
“I read it on Facebook.”
Blog Post11.09.2017—12am
The flow of a breaking new story in the mobile era
Blog Post11.08.2017—12am
When content hits the spot
Blog Post11.07.2017—12am
When hierarchy makes a statement
Blog Post11.06.2017—12am
When the advertising wraps around
Blog Post11.03.2017—1am
New Hebrew fonts from Typotheque
Blog Post11.02.2017—1am
Favorite branding logos? No surprises
Blog Post11.01.2017—7am
A New York terrorist attack on the front pages
Blog Post—1am
White (space) is the new trend for print
Blog Post10.31.2017—1am
Turkey: the jailing of an art director
Blog Post10.30.2017—1am
Need a job?
Blog Post10.27.2017—2am
The Economist & Snapchat Discover: Respecting young audiences
Blog Post10.26.2017—2am
The Wall: Get ready for the prototypes
Blog Post10.25.2017—5am
The New York Times’ website redesign: less is best and, please, sign in
Blog Post10.24.2017—5am
At The Washington Post, The Lily hits its own chords
Blog Post—5am
The Lily: new Washington Post product hits its own chords
Blog Post10.23.2017—1am
Coloring opinions
Blog Post10.20.2017—1am
Digital Media Conference: First Day highlights
Blog Post10.19.2017—6am
Speaking today at the North America Digital Media Conference
Blog Post10.18.2017—1am
Long narratives still have a coveted place
Blog Post10.17.2017—1am
Some good print-related news
Blog Post10.16.2017—1am
Digital Transformation: no newsroom is too small to attempt it
Blog Post10.13.2017—12am
WAN IFRA: the best of digital awards
Blog Post10.12.2017—12am
Taking your brand to where the young audience is: Instagram
Blog Post10.11.2017—1am
Multitaskers consume more media
Blog Post10.10.2017—12am
Germany’s Sūdkurier: workshops for digital transformation
Blog Post10.09.2017—1am
In Spain’s El Mundo: native ads
Blog Post09.29.2017—1am
For newspaper publishers, not much to sing about?
Blog Post09.28.2017—1am
Interesting reference about new digital story formats
Blog Post09.27.2017—1am
It’s a new mobile-focused redesign for salon.com
Blog Post09.26.2017—1am
Three things that caught our eye
Blog Post09.25.2017—1am
Paywalls & newspapers: from leaky to hard ones, and in between
Blog Post09.22.2017—4am
Mexican earthquake: front pages tell the story
Blog Post09.21.2017—1am
Saying adios to The Village Voice in print
Contact us with speaking requests, questions or to discuss a project.