Editorial: The new format is good, for those who can read it

Since our transition to a tab-format, we’ve received mostly positive feedback. People seem to like the way they can now hold The Beachcomber in their hands.

Said one reader happily, “I can read the paper with my cat in my lap.”

That’s a good thing.

The one complaint we have received is that we seem to be saving on newsprint by making the type smaller. One reader jokingly asked us if we’re in cahoots with the reading-glass industry.

The fact is, our font size for our standard news story is the exact same as in our previous, broadsheet-style paper. But it’s a different font, and, for lack of a more technical explanation, each letter is skinnier.

Here’s an example.

Old font (Century Old Style Std, 9.5 point):

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

New font (Minion Pro, 9.5 point):

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

Each letter is the same height, but the character width is a bit smaller.

And then every now and then, late at night, when we’re desperately attempting to squeeze just a bit more of our golden prose onto a page, we’ve been known to condense the letters just a hair.

Like this:

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

Do that over an entire story, and you can get another whole paragraph in!

Well, in this issue, we didn’t employ that belt-tightening tactic. Stories that were too long were simply trimmed — the good, old-fashioned journalistic way.

And we’d like to hear from those of you who have found the paper difficult to read since our reformat: Is this issue any better? Or are you still reaching for the magnifying glass?

Finally, under the heading of change, close observers will note that our subject-by-subject approach to the calendar didn’t last long. We reverted quickly to the more standard approach — putting each item in by date. As one reader kindly pointed out, calendars are, by definition, organized chronologically by date.

So let us know what you think. E-mail us at editor@vashonbeachcomber.com. And in case you’re wondering, editorials are traditionally a larger font size, which is why we feel confident you can at least read this.