Is it time to redesign the Portales News-Tribune? It was for Eastern New Mexico University students in Brad Hamann’s Typography class.
Hamann, an ENMU graphic design instructor, decided to give the 16 students in his fall design class a new challenge by having them critique and redesign the local Portales newspaper.
“I wanted to get their heads thinking beyond the computer lab,” Hamann said. “I loved seeing them wrap their minds around a project like this. It showed their different personalities and sense of humors. I enjoyed that.”
The students exercised their creativity from the font size and headline all the way to the logo design and layout with one student turning the P in Portales News-Tribune into the Zia symbol and another turning the O into a sun. Headlines varied from “Drug abuse serious issue” to “Clowns attack children at playground.”
JJ Duran, a senior in Hamann’s class, said he never thought newspapers would be something he would redesign.
“It was interesting. I had fun redesigning the logo,” Duran said. “It was a unique project learning how to make things pop out of newspapers. The idea was how do you make the main story grab the reader’s attention.”
Duran said he accomplished this by making the picture and headline large, allowing the main story to take up most of the front page,
Dallas Ellsworth, another senior in the class, said he liked the challenge of making a newspaper something more exciting and interesting rather than just an every day item.
“I wanted to find a way to make the paper stand out and make people want the Portales News-Tribune over other newspapers,” Ellsworth said. “The most challenging part was making Portales more interesting. There are so many factors to think about to make it more interesting.”
Ellsworth added a picture of a cowboy on a rodeo horse to the newspaper’s title to spice up the logo and added a large headline to go with it: “ENMU cinches up!”
Stephanie Stewart, another senior, who is the photography editor for ENMU’s newspaper, The Chase, said she enjoyed being able to build the overall look and theme of a newspaper.
“I like how the Tribune always has a big photo on the front. It brings readers in and grabs attention,” Stewart said. “But I feel that the logo doesn’t relate to Portales at all.”
Stewart changed up the logo by adding a sun symbol to the Tribune title and added some eye-catching headlines to go with it.
“We have some really talented students here,” Hamann said. “We just used the Portales News-Tribune as a jumping off point and I think it made a great learning experience. It was a more practical application than if I had just said let’s design a newspaper.”
Hamann said he hopes to talk to some Portales city officials and get his students involved in designing even more real life venues.