Express takes on new look

Posted February 27, 2013 at 12:25 pm

BABBLING BROOKS column–Express Editor Kim Brooks

The front page of this week’s Monticello Express looks different you say? After some discussion and several versions of what we’d like to see the front of the Express to look like, we hope you, our readers, appreciate the change.

Change is hard to accept. After years of the iconic Monticello clock tower standing tall next to the words “Monticello Express,” we decided to modernize the masthead on the front of the paper.

There was empty space left at the top of the paper after eliminating the clock tower. In the newspaper business, white space is never a bad thing, but in this case, it looked as though it was missing something.

So the picture you see this week is in fact a photo depicting a scene in the Monticello area. Many of you, I’m sure, have been there to go fishing, canoeing, perhaps enjoyed a family outing in the newly renovated shelter. Pictured Rocks, along the Maquoketa River, has seen many updates and renovations over the past several years due to damage from flooding. The river and trees that make up the landscape of Pictured Rocks worked well for our front-page design.

The idea behind the horizontal opaque photo behind the Monticello Express logo is to allow for some flexibility. During fair week, you may see the scene change to the midway. If you’re not tired of winter and snow yet, the landscape could depict that of fresh, fallen snow.

You’ll also notice a teaser bar down the left hand side of the front page. In previous years, we’ve highlighted a sports feature on the top right hand corner of the paper. Many newspapers across the state use teaser bars to reveal (tease) a few of their features and articles within that week’s issue, as well as special sections you’ll find inside.

This new look was something the Express had been talking about for a while now, and it starts with the front page.

While we’re on the topic of layout and design, I think it’s only right to mention the work that went into last week’s special section dedicated to our Monticello High School state wrestler Logan McQuillen. That wasn’t something that could have been put together a head of time, not knowing the outcome of the state wrestling meet.

With our Sports Editor Pete Temple’s hard work and great photography (Wasn’t that cover photo of McQuillen spectacular?), and the swift work of our layout team, the Express has received much praise for that special wrestling addition.

If there are things you’d like to see in the Express or have a story idea, let us know. The Monticello Express is your hometown newspaper!