Extreme RN&R Makeover

Brian Breneman is RN&R’s Art Director.

Notice anything different about the look of your paper? How about—everything? A few months ago, we decided to change the size and dimensions of RN&R (did you notice that?), so we figured it’d be a great time to give the old girl a makeover—sort of a late 21st birthday present.

Brad—the guy who writes the editor’s note on page 3—and I came to the process with different but non-exclusive goals: I wanted to increase the size of the photos and make the whole paper easier to read, and Brad wanted to make sure that you wouldn’t be getting any less of the stuff that makes RN&R great, like Bob Grimm’s film reviews, Dennis Myers’s hard-hitting news writing, and our comprehensive entertainment listings. We thought a lot about what you might be looking for when you pick up the RN&R and did our best to make it easier for you to find and more enjoyable for you to read.

Throughout the paper, we color-coded every section: yellow for the “front of the book” content like letters, Streetalk and the editor’s note; red for news and opinion; blue for Arts & Culture (the largest section of the paper—there’s a lot going on!); purple for the “back of the book” stuff like 15 Minutes and Bruce Van Dyke; and green for (duh) Green. We’ve also commissioned new portraits of our regular columnists from freelance illustrator extraordinaire Jonathan Buck, whose work longtime readers might recognize from 2014’s Fatal Encounters series and more recently the Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton cover stories from earlier this year.

A lot of the changes that I’m most excited about are in the Arts & Culture section. We’ve added an “info box” to all of our review content that collects everything you’d need to know—when is that restaurant open? Who’s in this movie? Where can I see that art show?—in one place that jumps right off the page.

I’m also very happy with the revamp of the This Week section. There’s a huge amount of information there, and our goal was to clarify and simplify the presentation so that you can find something fun to do quickly and easily.

There’s also a lot of small tweaks—nerdy things like gutter widths, white space and nested styles—that only a designer could love.

Hope you like it! If you have any feedback, please email me at brianrb@newsreview.