Yes. You are right. There is something different about the latest print issue of Tire Business.
And no, it isn't an April Fool's Day joke gone awry.
For the first time in more than two decades, we have changed the look of our publication — everything from the font we are using for headlines, to our byline style to the way some of the pages are identified and organized.
Later this month, we will relaunch our website with a new look and functionality. We are excited about what that change means for our loyal online readers.
Our goal with these changes is to provide a cleaner, more modern look for our publication, something we hope appeals to you, our valued readers and advertisers.
We've even altered our nameplate — in newspaper lingo, the flag, or the printed title that identifies our publication. As you can see above, our new nameplate uses a different font and a variation of the colors we have used previously, while eliminating the italicization.
This marks only the second print redesign in the 36-year history of Tire Business, which launched in April 1983.
Much of the heavy lifting — and credit — for the redesign goes to Michael McCrady, our talented art director who has been tweaking the look of our publication gradually since he joined our staff two years ago after a successful career at the Akron Beacon-Journal.
Michael compared the task at hand to updating your kitchen, bathroom or bedroom.
"Everything reaches a point where it feels dated and needs a new look," he said. "The thought of taking on the challenge was exciting, and it made me a little nervous.
"For the most part, I am the new kid on the block. I felt like I was changing something with a great tradition in the tire industry and wanted to make sure it would not only give a new look to Tire Business, but to show our loyal readers that we are committed to improving our product."
Michael called the new look a collaboration, which it certainly was. Members of our Akron-based editorial staff — Vice President/Publisher and Editorial Director Dave Zielasko, Special Projects Reporter Bruce Davis and Reporter Kathy McCarron, as well as myself — each provided constructive feedback during the process. Dave not only helped usher in the last redesign of this publication — almost 21 years ago, to the day — but Bruce was here to bring you the very first edition of Tire Business, with Dave joining the publication about two years later.
Michael said he used other publications produced by Crain Communications Inc., our parent company, to determine design elements that would help improve our look and appeal.
We also reorganized the editorial page, while keeping all of the components our readers have grown to love. And we have eliminated using a complete headline over the last part of stories that continue from another page. Instead, we are using just one word to identify the place on the page where you'll find the rest of the story.
It's important to note we aren't changing two things: We are keeping the same body type, as we believe it's easy to read; and, most importantly, we promise to keep bringing you the latest, most complete, most up-to-date news stories in the tire industry.
This isn't the only change our readers will notice.
And if that's not enough, the date of today's issue coincides with another big change for the Tire Business family.
Our Akron staff has moved into an office building located in nearby Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. In fact, our office overlooks the scenic Cuyahoga River, which meanders for nearly 85 miles through six counties in Northeast Ohio before emptying into Lake Erie.
Our new address is 2291 Riverfront Parkway, Suite 1000, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio 44221. Our staff phone numbers, listed on Page 6, remain the same.
Let us know what you think of our redesign, both positive and negative. Email me with your comments.
Thank you for being a valued reader of Tire Business.