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I’m not the only one who is old and tired

Last week, I wrote about how I’m entering the realm of the old and the tired, helped along by various merchandisers trying to sell me pre-planned funerals and electronic scooters.
Well, I’m not the only one who is aging.
A little over a week ago, four of us Chronicle staffers attended a design seminar led by Ed Henninger, considered a leading design “guru” for newspapers.
We were to submit examples of our newspaper pages for him to critique. After a brief session on design elements, Ed began critiquing submissions. Most got in-depth comments and advice for improvements.
But after lunch, Ed announced he was going to have to speed things up if he was going to get through all the submissions before the day ended at 4 p.m.
We waited patiently at our table for The Chronicle pages to pop up on the presentation screen.
This is what we heard:
“This is just old and tired,” said Henninger.
I was already feeling old and tired after being bombarded with mail advertisements from the Scooter Store and AARP. Now, I was hearing that the newspaper of which I recently took direction also is old and tired.
But none of us were really surprised by his comments. The last time The Chronicle was redesigned was in the mid 1980s. In fact, we had already decided we needed to start upgrading it before we went to the seminar.
So, you’ll be seeing some changes in the coming weeks as we start to incorporate some of Henninger’s ideas into our design.
We’ll try to implement them gradually, because old and tired people like me don’t have a lot of energy, plus our readers need time to adapt to transitional changes.
But eventually, The Chronicle may not look much like it does today.
As we make our changes, our goal is to make the newspaper easier for our readers to navigate and easier to read. We want to make our changes thoughtfully, not have them just be an effort to “jazz up” the paper, a phrase that Ed Henninger said he abhors.
I plan to occasionally use this column to explain what changes we are making and why we are making them.
And I hope our readers will give us feedback and ideas as we move forward.
After all, The Chronicle is published for you, the readers. It is your newspaper more than it is ours, and we want to do what is best for you.
Here’s to a young and vital, rather than an old and tired, future for all of us.