It is pleasing to notice the improvement in the general appearance of college papers during the last few years. There has always been a steady advance in the reading matter and of late there has been much attention paid to their outer or visible side. The typography is far better than it was a few years ago and now a rage for attractive illuminated covers has sprung up. The idea of a decorative cover for a college paper originated with the Lampoon; and the laughing knight on his winged horse has long been a familiar object among the host of college exchanges. For many volumes this hardy pioneer was alone in this untried field, nor did it seem as if any other college would dare follow his lead. The papers continued to come out in their sober coats of black and white. A simple heading of large type, in most cases, followed by an unattractive and disorderly column of hatters' and clothiers' advertisements formed the sole ornament of the front page. Now much of this is changed and we have a new order of things. Decorated covers are the rule rather than the exception among the papers of the leading colleges. This change has taken place quite suddenly and is still going on. Three years ago the Lampoon stood alone. Now fully a dozen of the best papers are resplendent in covers of soft browns, grays and red.
The Tech, now in its third year, appeared first in a cover designed by one of its student architects. At first brown, it has now appeared in a cover of cardinal and gray, the M. I. T. colors. The Princeton Tiger, the Yale Courant, and Michigan Argonaut were not long in following suit. But it has remained for this year to see the greatest number added to the list. The Yale Record, then the Cornell Era, Michigan Chronicle and even the staid and sober Amherst Student, with a number of lesser journals, have all become giddy in their new dresses. They may well be proud, for their appearance is much improved and a certain individuality now attaches to each paper where before they were but one from a throng of plain, scarcely distinguishable exchanges. Meanwhile the Lampoon and several of those mentioned above have changed their colors, but the designs have remained the same.
Of those which are still content with more simple covers, the Princetonian and Trinity Tablet have plain black and white covers with ornamental heads and no advertisements in front, while some, like the Williams Argo and the Dartmouth, have simple colored covers with plain type. Even these are an improvement over the old styles. Of the dailies, both the Yale News and Cornell Era have ornamental headings. The HERALD-CRIMSON, being in a transition state as to its name must await the time with patience before it can again appear with an artistic capping. The Advocate although neat in its appearance would look much more attractive in a cover of some delicate shade pleasing to the eye. It seems strange that with so many fine arts' students our fortnightly should be behind those of other colleges in this respect. Its appearance in a new cover would make an important addition to the newly fledged brood of artistic-looking papers.