Friday, October 24, 2008

G to "g"

The Boston Globe launched a redesign today. The most significant part for my readers is the consolidation of arts coverage into a 6 day a week tabloid insert called g. The general agenda of the content can be found here. This is a big expansion of the previous, limited Calendar-type inserts.

g, according to the Globe's intro on the front page of this morning's paper, will "focus on arts, entertainment, people and lifestyle." This, of course, means quite a lot will be put into the magazine's pages.

Launching on a Friday is the natural move, with multiple movie releases you can really pack it, and the section does come in at a hefty 48 pages. Movie coverage, including cinema listings and capsule review of recent releases, takes up 16 pages. (17 if you include the cover, with Jolie, natch.) T.V takes up another four pages; comics, crosswords and advice takes up another six; and there are two full page ads. This leaves 18 pages for everything else.

Oh, one more thing: Alex Beam's column about taxes and redistribution of wealth seems weirdly out of place now that it is off of the broadsheet and pasted on the opposite side of the astrology forecast and the comic strips. Mmmm. Let me think about that.

The layout for the Louise Kennedy review of the latest ART production bodes well for the future. Production photos can be printed in color and appear in larger sizes. The tabloid format allows greater convenience with most of the stories and reviews contained to one page, or, at the most, two opposing pages.

However, as opposed to the broadsheet format of the past, I think that navigation may actually be hampered. For instance, previously the front page of the A&E section would include photos and the start of several stories: Theatre, Visual Arts, People. The cover of g has a clear listing of stories on the left hand side, but no visuals or teases. Opening up the first page, we get an abbreviated extension of the contents on the first page, but, once again, nothing to really guide us visually or textually.

I'm an online reader of the Globe, but I thought I would check out the launch today. I was a loyal print reader until about 3 years ago or so.

On the inside back page of g they have a large photo of a rehearsal of Lieutenant of Inishmore, reminds me of my new feature that called for "At Work" photos. :)

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