In case you haven’t noticed, and hopefully you have, the front page of this week’s newspaper is in color (unless there was a terrible mixup at the printing plant).
The Grand Canyon News section of the newspaper will now include full color on page one each week. This is a major step forward for this section, which began nearly 20 years ago as part of the Williams-Grand Canyon News.
We’ve been experimenting with color more and more for obvious reasons. Color photos look better and attract readers’ attention. Hopefully, local readers will enjoy seeing news events in color, such as the middle-school kids who put on a play, the park’s new superintendent or Brenda Halvorson, the Rotary Club’s Community Leader of the Year Award recipient.
Having color available opens up a new world of design capabilities on the front page, therefore, it’s an option I’m going to enjoy very much.
The Grand Canyon News experimented with color a couple of times last summer after a redesign of the section. The old flag (title of newspaper and accompanying artwork across the top of page one) was a bit dull and with the Grand Canyon being such a beautiful place, I felt a new, more attractive flag should be part of a new look.
With the help of digital darkroom guru Darren Fitzgerald, we came up with what we feel was an improvement to the newspaper. We ran color twice during the summer and both times, we reached new heights with our newspaper rack sales.
Recognizing the obvious advantages of being part of a color newspaper, IMAX Theater wanted to begin running an advertisement in a prime spot — the front page. Each week, IMAX will run a color ad in the upper righthand corner of page one, to the right of the flag. And across the bottom, IMAX will run what is called a banner ad.
Traditional news junkies might call this selling out but we don’t feel that is the case. IMAX, as they’ve shown over and over, is a big part of the community and their interest in running a color ad will give them unprecedented visibility in our newspaper. Our rack sales went up considerably among tourists during our color editions and there’s no reason to think otherwise for the future.
Along with serving their own interests, the IMAX ad also benefits the community through the newspaper. Truthfully, without the ads, the front page would still be in black and white. Now, we can run color photos of our weekly news events.
At this time, the Williams section remains in black and white, but we have hopes of making the switch to color in the near future if an advertiser down there also sees the same benefits to their business and the community.
With high-definition television, USA Today, Playstation and digital cameras, the world of color is more visible than ever. I’m excited to be part of the Grand Canyon News’ changeover to color and hope it’s a permanent move.
The newspaper has made some positive strides in the past year. I’ll continue to do my best to provide Grand Canyon-Tusayan-Valle readers with real news, interesting features and comprehensive sports coverage, along with the small-town community information many larger newspapers choose to no longer publish.
I’d like to thank the readers and advertisers for your loyalty. Without all of you, we wouldn’t be here.
(Brad Fuqua is editor of the Grand Canyon News).
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