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A ‘new day’ (part 2): A short history and behind the scenes Athenaeum, Inside N&E, News & Events Daily, Social media

Last time, I shared highlights of the recent redesign of our e-newsletter, News & Events Daily. Today, a brief history of News & Events and N&E Daily and behind the scenes of the redesign.

When News & Events Daily was launched, on Oct. 8, 2008, it was the digital “sister” newsletter to News & Events, RIT’s longtime print publication (in fact, the two newsletters coexisted for a period prior to the creation of Athenaeum in 2009).

In a survey earlier in 2008, about half our readers—53 percent—told us they wanted to continue receiving the print edition. However, 53 percent also liked e-mail and roughly one in four favored an online edition (figures add up to greater than 100 percent because respondents could choose more than one format).

So we forged ahead with a new daily e-mail and online version—overlapping, for eight months, with the biweekly News & Events print edition before bucking the wishes of half our readership and discontinuing News & Events after the May 21, 2009, issue. But we did so knowing that a digital daily would allow us to provide more—and timelier—news, and with the expectation that Athenaeum, planned for later that year, would assuage any ill will toward the decision to nix News & Events in print.

Birth of News & Events Daily
When the decision was made to create News & Events Daily, I worked closely with University Publications—our neighbor down the hallway in Brown Hall and longtime partner on News & Events—and with Web designers Alexander Gartley and Mark Marcello.

Because News & Events and the yet-to-be-named e-newsletter were to be “sisters”—and to ease our readers into the transition to the digital version—I strongly favored the name News & Events Daily to others that were considered. For the same reason, I suggested using the identical nameplate*—but with the word “daily” slapped on, along with the tagline, “The RIT Electronic Newspaper of Record” (borrowing from a slogan on N&E distribution boxes across campus).

It was, after all, still News & Events—only now daily and digital.

Today’s News & Events Daily is truly an offshoot of the venerable News & Events (with roots dating to 1968). In a nod to tradition, the current N&E Daily nameplate is similar not only to the one used upon its 2008 launch, but it also closely resembles the one atop the print edition from Jan. 15, 2004—following a major redesign, led by Brenda Monahan of RIT University Publications and Vienna Carvalho-McGrain of RIT News, coinciding with RIT’s 175th anniversary—through the final print issue in May 2009.

News & Events (Jan. 15, 2004)

News & Events print-edition nameplate—commemorating RIT’s 175th anniversary—from January 2004 through May 2005.

News & Events, June 23, 2005

News & Events print-edition nameplate—from June 2005 through May 2009.

News & Events Daily, Oct. 8, 2008

News & Events Daily digital-edition nameplate—from October 2008 to September 2011.

Fast-forward to 2011.

With News & Events Daily established and News & Events print now history, I wanted the name News & Events Daily to be a single, cohesive unit (in other words, let’s ditch the “Post-it” note, I advised UPubs graphic designer Pete Bella). Plus, for design simplicity, we dropped the tagline.

The result is perfect—a clean, modern design, but with a nod to tradition in terms of both the name and “look.”

News & Events Daily, Sept. 6, 2011

News & Events Daily nameplate from the Sept. 6, 2011 edition—first day of current design.

But we were just getting started.

Next time: More from behind the scenes of the redesign.

*Incidentally, “nameplate” is the correct terminology for a publication’s name—designed and placed on the cover. “Masthead,” used informally by some people when they actually mean to refer to the nameplate, identifies the box with information, such as a listing of the names of the publisher and key members of the editorial staff, often found on a publication’s editorial page.


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