Staff report: student newspaper receives makeover

The Flor-Ala Staff

Readers of The Flor-Ala may notice a change this week — the entire newspaper has a new design.

Current and incoming members of The Flor-Ala staff have worked to bring you this final issue of the 2015-16 year featuring the new look.

Many of the changes came from critiques the newspaper received at College Media Association conferences this year, and Editor-in-Chief Kali Daniel created the redesign effort as her capstone project for the UNA Honors Program.

“I think those critiques were very helpful, and they showed us some ways that we can be more appealing to students, maybe have a little more fun with our designs and the way we tell stories,” said Student Media Adviser Scott Morris. “We would like to set some trends in the way a newspaper looks, and I think this is a good way to do it.”

The biggest change The Flor-Ala underwent is the logo. The newspaper did not previously have a logo, and the design will help the newspaper stand out from other university groups, as well as establish an overall brand.  

“A brand can be really powerful in that it can tell an audience how reliable they are,” Daniel said. “In terms of the newspaper, that includes authority on the subject matter and purpose in how everything is laid out.”

Another major change is the front page, which now features a cover photo instead of content.  

“After attending the fall CMA conference in Austin, Texas, members of the staff saw many examples of college newspapers successfully using covers,” said Managing Editor Jasmine Fleming. “We’ve all been passionate about this change, and we are glad to see it in action.”

Other changes include altering the order of some of the pages to be more logical, displaying content highlights to show students why a story is important and revealing the new tagline: You Speak. We write.

Sports Editor Mike Ezekiel said he appreciates the new tagline because it shows the staff “cares about what our students think.”

“Not only changing our logo, but other elements of our paper, will make this a good move for us,” Ezekiel said.

“I think having a more modern look to our publication will attract students to our product.”

Daniel said the semester-long project was not only for the betterment of the newspaper, but for the campus community.

“This redesign is not happenstance or random,” she said. “A lot of research went into making this more readable, and ultimately more of a pleasurable read, for students. We’re our own entity, and we work hard to get information to students, and it should be conveyed not only in our words, but in our designs.”