The power of design: A new look for a familiar friend

By Kyra Senese, Editor-in-Chief

As incoming students get acclimated to their new home at Columbia, they will find themselves immersed in change at nearly every turn.

What they will quickly learn is that the college is in the process of implementing its Strategic Plan, a 40-page document drafted  by the college and approved by the board of trustees throughout the last year, and that this plan will shape all of their future experiences at Columbia.

The plan is intended to improve students’ educational experience while attending the college and boost their satisfaction with the school’s offerings in general while they are here and long after they graduate.

And while the college is restructuring and revising its policies, The Columbia Chronicle has also modified and updated many of its long-standing operations. Columbia’s first student newspaper, the CC Writer, originally hit stands in November of 1973 and was later replaced by The Chronicle on Oct. 31, 1978.

Since The Chronicle’s inception, it has been a resource to students, faculty, staff and local residents for breaking news and crucial information about the college’s goings-on and the culture of Columbia.

As decades have passed, The Chronicle has experienced occasional  changes in design and quality. It has garnered the status of No. 1 non-daily college newspaper in the nation, won a considerable number of awards for individual reporting and general excellence and collected several hundred plaques that hang on the lobby walls and sit stacked away in storage.

The accolades have all been the result of hard work by the students, general manager and advisers  who return to the office to put out an excellent issue week after week, and in some cases, year after year.

The Chronicle staff takes great pride in its work, but after several meetings and countless discussions throughout a period of months, the staff came to a consensus that making a drastic change was the right next step for The Chronicle and its staff.

Although the newspaper’s previous, traditional tabloid format had proven itself a success for many consecutive years, the staff agreed it was time to revamp both The Chronicle’s physical format and freshen up all of its design elements.

Colin King, The Chronicle’s senior graphic designer, worked tirelessly throughout the summer on drafts of the newspaper’s current format and its new design, brainstorming ways to produce a paper that reflects what the current generation and our fellow students love about journalism, photography and design.

The smaller format is more portable, the front page more visually inviting and the additional use of white space allows for a clean, sleek design throughout.

The combination of the paper’s updated format and design is meant to correlate with our ever-evolving website, blossoming YouTube channel and soon-to-be-launched smartphone application, reflecting the many avenues that journalists can navigate to spread the news and matching the industry standards of our time.

We hope our readers—new and old—support our decision to update The Chronicle while upholding the standards of excellence that we set for ourselves. On behalf of the entire Chronicle staff, I would like to welcome new students to Columbia and welcome all readers to the new Columbia Chronicle.