At New Year, a new qnotes

Print and online redesign accompanies change in editorial direction

by Matt Comer  Editor  editor@goqnotes.com
Published: January 7, 2010 in News

Wait? What is that? Where’d my old qnotes go?

We haven’t gone anywhere, but we’ve got a brand new look and a fresh editorial direction. We figured the New Year would be an appropriate time to unveil our new self. Here’s a few of the things you’ll see changed and changing in this issue and in coming weeks and months:

redesign_feat

Logo and branding

qnotes’ revamped logo takes the best of the old and blends it into a new, modern look. Our staff poured over a dozen possibilities for our new branding. We ultimately chose the one you see gracing our front cover this issue. We felt the new branding seems less like the stereotypical, “serious” newspaper feel and more like a fun, alternative newsweekly look. Yet, the logo retains its own, unique identity.

You’ll notice our name’s branding has changed slightly, too — no more of that annoying hyphen in the middle of our name.

Design and layout

Our print editions now have a more relaxed, newsmagazine look and feel. Over the years we’ve listened to reader feedback regarding their experiences with the print edition. While many liked our look, many others also felt the paper seemed old and staid. As much as we’d like to think we were the New York Times of LGBT news in the Carolinas, the simple reality is that our community is so cool, so inventive and so cutting edge that we should reflect the same characteristics.

frontpage_medWhat’s new?
qnotes’ has a fresh look and direction, including a new:

• Logo and branding
• Design and layout
• Online edition
• Editorial direction
• Online v. Print
• Event listings

Coming to news stands… Be sure to pick up our redesigned Jan. 9-Jan. 22 print edition, and keep checking out goqnotes.com for new stories, features and more.

Online edition

qnotes’ print edition isn’t the only component of our company getting a renovation. Our website, now located at goqnotes.com, has a clean, fresh look. You’ll notice new sections on the site, including an in-house blog. We’re continuing our CityPages with focus on Charlotte, Raleigh/Triangle, Triad and Columbia. Other regional CityPages might pop up soon.

Editorial direction

With our change in aesthetics comes a change in our editorial direction. Our bi-weekly print issues will be more future-oriented and contain less reporting of events past, while goqnotes.com takes up a more robust daily presence with online only reporting of Carolinas, national and international events and news. The print editions will include in-depth features on news, arts, entertainment and politics of Carolinas and local interest. Some of our upcoming coverage includes a 2010 special series, “InFocus.” Throughout the year we’ll profile local LGBT leaders, organizations, businesses and issues of hyper-local importance in the Triad (Apr. 3), Charlotte (July 24), Columbia (Sept. 4) and Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill (Sept. 18). In our May 1 issue, our “InFocus” series will take an in-depth look at the largest and most influential LGBT non-profits in the Carolinas.

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Online v. Print

In an effort to maintain our new, robust website and editorial direction, qnotes will be implementing a sort of “web first” model. Stories slated to appear in our print editions will be published as they are completed, or as a set of stories in the day or two after we dispatch our content to our printer. No more waiting the painfully slow and long five days between press time and street date.

From what we’ve been able to tell, our online readership and print edition readership don’t overlap all that much, so publishing print content online won’t hurt our print edition’s pick-up. Further, the early online publishing will keep our community’s news front-and-center. As you might already know, the world of news is 24/7/365 nowadays. We’ll be doing our part to keep up.

Event listings

Among our most exciting changes is our new events calendar. The QGuide “21 events” — our new calendar — is conveniently located on page 21 of every, single print issue. There you’ll find at least 21 events ranging from fundraisers and community meetings to nightlife events and plays and musicals. The calendar is located in goqnotes.com’s QGuide section at goqnotes.com/qguide/events.

We love feedback

As always, qnotes’ staff welcomes and values your input and feedback. You can comment on this article below or send your comments or suggestions to editor@goqnotes.com. : :

This article was published in the Jan. 9 – Jan. 22 print edition.