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January 31, 2011 / Gina D.

A design style guide (with room to grow)

I work in San Bernardino, Calif. You work in West Covina. Let’s have a phone conversation about how to properly crop a mugshot — when we both have some free time.

Yeah, right.

Well, all that information should be in our design style guide anyway — now, where did I put that thing…? Oh yeah. YOU NEVER MADE US ONE.

It’s true. I didn’t. Instead, I carved out small pockets of time to write extensive emails that would become fodder for refreshers when things weren’t going right. That amounted to quite a few blasts of information, generally a lot of it at once, happening over the span of couple of years — since the big LANG-wide redesign that Whitney-fied all a bunch of papers in inconsistent ways. From a design management standpoint, it was a rocky start that never really got better.

Now, finally, I’ve figured out a solution (I hope) — one that was staring me in the face with this very blog: put it online.

And so, I am. Bit by bit, post by post, I am using a blog to build an online catalog of information about “our style.” It will show AND tell how we do things — and why. And because it’s a blog, “users” can question the reasoning or ask other questions about our visual styles directly from this reference site. It’s interactive and always a click away, searchable by topic by anyone who needs to know, whether I’ve met them or not — a growing reality of off-site newsroom production.

Because this is a reference tool intended mostly for internal use, I’m not going to post the link to it here. It’s not that its a huge company secret, but I feel (at this time, anyway) that the idea is the big point here, not necessarily its end result. I may someday change my mind on that, but for now, only its intended audience will be in the loop. The rest of you, well… I’ll keep you posted on the progress and pitfalls here, among more widely interesting topics.

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One Comment

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  1. sylvia / Jan 31 2011 1:59 PM

    interesting and really innovative way to do a design stylebook. kudos! i am eager to see it go into fruition. i wish i had thought of this when i was at west covina (on the breeze/press-telegram newsdesk) and we started getting a lot of the inland people working on our papers. seemed to be a lot of whys as to why we do certain things, etc.

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