The Daily Mountain Eagle has a new look on its front page, starting with today’s edition, with the most noticeable change being to its nameplate. The change is the first to the DME nameplate in 20 years.
“It was time for a fresh look,” Publisher James Phillips said. “We have talked about redesigning our newspaper for a couple of years now, and starting the new year off with a new front page seemed like perfect timing.”
Since 2000, the Daily Mountain Eagle nameplate has featured a bright, blue sky as its background. In an effort to give its design a cleaner look, the blue background has been removed, but the iconic vision of an eagle flying through the DME name remains. The nameplate also features a script “Since 1872” to remind readers of the history of the newspaper. The phrase “The newspaper that cares about Walker County” was found for many years on the newspaper’s nameplate, but was removed in the early 1990s. That phrase has now returned to the DME’s front page.
“While we want to have a more modern look to our front page, we cannot forget the rich history that our newspaper has in our area,” Phillips said. “We are extremely proud to have served Walker County for nearly 150 years. No one documents the history of our county and its people like we do. That has been true since 1872, and it will remain true for another 150 years. We are proud to say that we are ‘the newspaper that cares about Walker County.’”
Other slight changes to the front page include new headline fonts and an increased leading on the body copy to make the text a little easier to read.
More changes to the look of the paper will be coming, Phillips said.
“This is a process that we hope to unveil in stages,” he said. “We started with the front page, as well as minor things like headline fonts throughout the pages of the newspaper. We will work on bringing a more modern look to other areas of the paper, such as obituaries, sports, lifestyles and opinion pages. Our goal is to design all those pages with the idea of providing more local content to our readers.
“We provide a service that no one else can,” Phillips continued. “We cover our little area of the universe with passion and commitment that cannot and will not be matched. That is a fact that we are proud to brag about.”
Phillips said he expects the complete redesign to realistically take a couple of months.
“From getting templates ready to training our designers to approach pages a little differently, this is a process,” he said. “I’m proud of the new look so far, but we will continue to work to improve on not only the design of the paper, but also on the quality and quantity of our local content.”
Along with the changes to the print edition, the newspaper’s website, mountaineagle.com, has also undergone a transformation with a new look and some added features. That process will also continue over the next month with stories, which are typically updated once per day unless it is a breaking news story, starting to be updated throughout the day on the site, providing visitors with more real-time information.
“Anytime we improve one aspect of what we do, we want to improve all aspects,” Phillips said. “Our digital products (website, podcasts, videos) are better than anyone else in our state. It is our hope that we are thought of as the standard bearer in our state when it comes to a community newspaper. It is also our hope that our local community sees that and is proud of our efforts.”