Gazette Shies From New Style

Calling Change 'Too Bold,' Editors to Return to Old Look

Evidently tradition still means something at Harvard.

After releasing only one issue of the Harvard Gazette with an updated style and format, the University's news office has had second thoughts about the bold new look.

In an effort to modernize the administration's official newspaper, the editors and design consultant Richard Ivers adopted a new format in the September 21 issue. The updated style included a bigger nameplate, bolder headlines and a new "News and Notes" section on page two of the paper.

After only one issue, however, Gazette editors deemed the change in the headlines too radical, and plan to change them back to the former style.

"The new headlines were a little too bold," said Laura J. Ferguson, managing editor of the Gazette. "We wanted something more conservative, so we decided to revert to the old format."

Despite a return to the old headline style, the paper will retain the new features and the new name plate, she said.

The Gazette has changed its format several times since its inception in 1969, with the last overhaul coming in 1984.

Ferguson said she began to think more critically about the format of the Gazette as a result of her involvement with the Society For Newspaper Design.

Looking Bolder

"I felt it was time for a change," she said. "We wanted a bolder more contemporary look."

Ironically, however, the updated format resembles the version of the Gazette published in the early 1980s. "It is a return to traditional design," acknowledged Ferguson, "but with a bolder typeface."

Despite Gazette editors' concerns that the look of last week's issue was too radical, several students said they approved of the new design.

"The updated format definitely makes it more recognizable, more eye-catching," said Paul J. Larsen '93.

"The snazzier design will liven up the white bathrooms of Claverly," added Todd A. Forman '92.

But other students said that they longed for the Gazette in its old, comfortable style.

"It's sad when Harvard traditions have to change," said John C. Buten '91. "But I suppose the institution has to keep apace of all the new developments and typeface technology."