I've got a whole city to hold down

September 17, 2004

Reader reborn

As you know or are soon, at your local yellow box, to find out, the Chicago Reader has finally unveiled that redesign we told you about back in June.

The new look does, as that report suggested, add color throughout (and the color photos in particular are a major plus, enlivening the front section's sometimes-dreary middle). It does not go to the tabloid format, but does add a weird sort of vertical cover--

--that, when unfolded, proves to actually be the bottom of the back page. You'll have to pick it up to get the drift. (Photo pilfered from the Zornlog.)

There was some trepidation that the redesign would shrink editorial space. It's tough to tell at a glance, but the font size does appear slightly larger, and there is now more than 2.5 inches of white space at the top of every page (a margin that used to be about an inch).

On the music side, the major changes find the Meter moved to page 5; a daily listing of the week's music highlights commands the cover. And both the Spot Check and Critic's Choice departments are no more; they've been subsumed into a New Yorker-like chronological roundup of notable gigs called the Treatment. We'd guess that we're getting about the same content this way, just delivered in a more calendar-friendly fashion.

Your take?