Starting with Tuesday morning’s paper, The Gazette (the newspaper I work for, you’ll recall) has reduced its web width by exactly one inch in an effort to save costs. It may seem silly to think that such a small reduction in the size of each page would result in significant paper (and therefore money) economies, but apparently it does, which is why newspapers like the Globe and Mail have already done so.
The Gazette is reconfiguring its second press for the narrower page size, which means some sections will be printed on narrower pages while others will have larger gutters as the narrower content is centred on the wider page. The changeover is expected to be complete in two weeks.
There are no content changes coming with this new width, as editor-in-chief Andrew Phillips explains in a note to readers. The height of the pages is the same, the number of pages is the same, and what’s on them is the same.
But there are some layout changes. Among them:
- The width of text columns will narrow, making each article slightly shorter. This also means things like columnist photos will be a bit less wide.
- More pages will have a five-column layout instead of a six-column one.
- The gutter between columns shrinks slightly, from one pica to 10 points.
- Larger elements like headlines and photos will become a bit smaller. Some elements, like the web pointers on section fronts, have been redesigned to use space more efficiently.
- Fixed elements like comics and puzzles will shrink slightly.
- Every 17th vowel will be deleted form article text (we’re hoping you don’t notice that one).
One thing that’s not changing is the body type. It’s still 8.7-point Nimrod MT, exactly what it’s been since, like, the dawn of time, or at least as long as I’ve been there.
So, is the newspaper crisis solved yet?