Tuesday, 28 July 2009

The "new" Sun

Had a flashback to childhood days and boxes of multi-coloured crayons while reading the revamped Toronto Sun today.

Colour, colour everywhere. If was if PKP gathered a group of fresh-faced college grads, gave them all a box of crayons and said "we need more colour in the Sun."

The shrinking size of the Sun shouldn't make much of a difference to readers. It still has a tabloid feel to it and is easy to read.

But the amount of colour being used is nonsensical, amateurish and distracting child's play.

Remember how people would say if your car motor is sputtering, chrome it? That could be said for newspapers laying it on with colour.

A couple of questions.

If green is the obvious colour of choice for the Money page, what does black represent for the Comment pages? Negativity? Doom and gloom?

On the plus side, the Page 2 Contact Us list makes it easier to reach someone in command by name re news, sports, Comment, Life and Showbiz - with e-mail addresses.

And we didn't know Kevin Hann was promoted from city editor to news editor. If so, belated congrats.

Other than bordered head and shoulder shots for columnists and some other minor tinkering, the fanfare for the "new" Sun was pretty much overblown.

Speaking of head shots, updated photos would have been welcomed. Egos being what they are, in print you can remain forever young.

Oh, and that disgraceful "message to our readers" quote used verbatim by several Sun publishers as their own was repeated on Page 2.

Crayons and outsourced cut-and-paste direct quotes - Sun Media's new media.

Give us your feedback on the revamped Suns with posted comments or by e-mail.


  1. Smaller paper, hardly any other changes noticed. Nothing to see here, move along.

  2. So the "new design" is out. All that changed is: (a) page size is smaller and (b) the page number, a thin outline around each reporter's (old) headshot, and some graphics now use a matching mechanical colour, (each section uses a different color).

    The smaller size is not a bad thing. The Sun is now the same size that the Toronto Star TV magazine was a couple of years ago. But the Sun has way more information than the Star TV magazine ever did. Take that, Toronto Star!

    Will the Sun now redesign their street boxes to reduce the window to match the paper size? Otherwise, a little paper in a big window will look a bit sparse. I guess we know why the the Sun no longer uses the phrase, "The little paper that grew".

    Each section now has its own colour. The Life section is half pink and half brown, Either that's a deep metaphor for life, or the paper couldn't make up its mind. Entertainment is mustard colour, I guess to reflect the colour of mustard used on hot dogs at some events. News is blue, I guess to match the Toronto Star, except the op-ed is mostly black (does dark blue on black equal blue or black? Is the black op-ed section meant to symbolize the lack of diversity or the death of free speech?

    There is a reason why most papers have moved *away* from colour-coding their sections. The Toronto Star, and some other papers, use only a colour-coded banner on their section fronts.

    The Sun is a one-(physical) section paper, unlike most broadsheets (narrowsheets?) They did try pull-out sections for the weekday paper, many years ago, and soon realized the folly of that.

    I guess the thought for using colour sections was to make it look like there is more there than there really is. But the Sun will (eventually) learn what other papers learned a few years ago: colour coding affects/influences the graphics and even photos used on a page. It also can affect how readers react to some stories.

    One of the practices used in marketing and advertising is that you can use colour to distract the buyer. If your sales pitch or product is weak or lacking, lots of colour, big bold type and graphics (banners, starbursts, etc) will create a (false) sense of urgency and excitement. This is what the Sun is using. Why not rely on good, solid, original content? Why not rely on the talents of the staff? Oh yeah, that costs money.

    Will the Sun change design as often as it changes publishers? As most of us know, shuffling the decks chairs on the Titanic wouldn't have altered its fate. Only a full change of course would have saved it.

  3. Since I will never buy the Toronto SUN ever again since I got let go, I thought PKP would be trying to save money and not spend it all on colored inks. Remember the good old days when the whole paper was black and white?
    But PKP is saving on the paper size.
    Good for you.

  4. The redesign? White walls on a garbage truck.

  5. You shouldn't be negative just for the sake of being negative, sunfamilyblog.
    If you're going to profess your desire for objective journalism, the least you can do is try to be objective in this blog.

  6. Not sure sunfamilyblog is being negative ... he's merely stating the obvious. The redesign has the stench of the blind London design central crap being dished out on a daily basis. Keep those PDFs a coming ...

  7. FYI, Kevin Hann is city editor.

    Rob Lamberti

  8. Re Kevin Hann. Why is he listed as "News Editor" on Page 2?

  9. "...the blind London design central crap..."

    A little bitter towards London, are we?