Interesting design choice in the RGJ

Those of you who know me know that I love newspaper design, and that I check Newseum just about everyday for newspaper front pages across the state of Nevada. Usually, I love the design of the Las Vegas Sun, dislike what the LVRJ does, and go back and forth on the Reno Gazette-Journal. While the RGJ’s regular coverage can be slightly lacking in the polish afforded to more major markets, they are extremely good at covering and presenting big events, such as the Caughlin Ranch Fire last year.

But on a slower news day, it can be hard to create an attention grabbing front page just because the designer doesn’t have the amazing visual image like a giant, 1000-acre fire. That brings me to today’s front page of the RGJ:

Not a bad A1. There’s pretty diverse news content, which for the most part is unique and more interesting than shit ripped from AP the day before, which the LVRJ always does. But I’m curious as to the massive headline block for Brian Duggan’s main story on a plan to revise an old RTC center downtown. I like the initiative of playing up a story which could of easily been buried in a rail or inside, because it can have a bigger impact. But the art along with the story is extremely boring- it’s just a building. This is an occasion where an illustration may have served them better, or just some alternative way of telling the story. People aren’t going to be attracted to a boring looking building- they’re attracted to uniqueness, to visually attractive elements.

Hopefully as the RGJ continues to grow in it’s news coverage, it will be able to take on these challenges and make all of the paper’s elements excellent, rather than just writing or photography.

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