This past spring, when the Boston Globe snagged Martin Gee, a West Coast designer with an international reputation, many of us here in New England wondered what he’d do for the graceful Beantown daily.
Now we know.
The Globe has never lacked for beautiful, smart design, but I really like the direction Gee is taking here. He’s added some voltage, ignoring the old stereotypes about what local readers might respond to.
The Globe also reached westward for its sports designer when, shortly after hiring Gee, they hired Luke Knox of the Arizona Republic.
Come to think of it, when my papers redesigned earlier this year, our consultant also came from the West. Frank Mina of the San Francisco Chronicle set us on the right course. Fresh off a radical redesign at The Chronicle, Mina was able to bring some of their concepts to us, and our visual overhaul has been received really well.
We in Connecticut also overcame some stereotypes about our readers — some in our group wondered if a retired machinist in Stratford would be able to make out a headline set in something other than ITC Century, or if we’d be mocking the dead setting an obit in Zocalo. Luckily, our editors (recently of Seattle and Salt Lake City … hmmmm) didn’t buy that reasoning and we went ahead.
If you’re a designer and you want to welcome Gee and Knox to Sox territory, the Society for News Design is hosting a very casual meetup in the South End on Monday, July 12. I’m hosting it along with Dan Zedek, the Globe’s assistant managing editor for design. There is no program or lineup of speakers, but some SND membership forms might be circulating discreetly. It’s the middle of summer, so I might possibly be forgiven for not booking a speaker.