NEW YORK (AP) -- The Wall Street Journal is hyping its first major design change since World War II with a tongue-in-cheek campaign showing some approaches it won't be taking.
The Journal unveils the new look Tuesday, and a series of ads in trade journals highlight some format ideas that didn't get far in the design process:
-- A supermarket tabloid with screaming headlines like "Aliens in $300 Million Takeover Bid for NASA."
-- A glossy women's magazine with stories on the "100 Cutest Brokers on Wall Street" and stock tips from the "staff astrologer."
-- A comic book featuring the Masked Monetarist, a fearless, muscle-bound protector of the money supply.
The ads have helped convey the mission of the redesign -- to help the paper change its image, bring in a new audience, and better serve readers with a format that's modern, nicer to look at, and easier to read.
"We've had a lot of positive feedback from people in the industry," Mitchell Engelmeyer, the paper's creative director of marketing, said of the ad campaign. "They say it's a good thing for the Journal to show that it can laugh at itself. But it also speaks to the changes going on at the Journal, to make it more friendly and easier to read."
There's usually a funny story on the front page of each Journal, but there's little sense of whimsy in a front-page layout heavy with text. The Journal's six-column front looks essentially the same as it did in 1942.
"It's often seen as a gray exterior that is hard to penetrate," Engelmeyer said.
The Journal isn't saying exactly what changes are in store, said Steven Goldstein, a spokesman for Dow Jones and Co., which publishes the paper. The paper is treading carefully so it doesn't upset its 1.8 million readers.
"When people wake up Tuesday morning they will still recognize The Wall Street Journal, but it will be easier to navigate and a little less intimidating," Goldstein said. "But the content is not changing and the hard news will remain."
Taking advantage of a four-year upgrade to their printing plants, Journal executives have spent the last 18 months developing a new look that includes more photos and graphics. The paper is also redrawing its Scotch Roman typeface and adding more color, including its first color on the front page.
The redesign was overseen by Joanne Lipman, a deputy managing editor at the paper, and Joe Dizney, the paper's in-house design guru. Lipman and Dizney worked on the paper's last major update, the highly successful Weekend Journal that debuted in 1998.
"I was basically trying to clear up years of non-design," Dizney said. "For years it had been designed by default, and I wanted to clean things up. We didn't want to lose that 19th century character, but we wanted to open it up a little bit, to give it a little air."
One of the biggest changes is a new section, Personal Journal, which will appear on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and include articles on how the day's news has directly affected readers' lives. It also will feature articles on what its editors call the "second shift" -- life outside the office. The focus will be on subjects like health, personal finance, cars and travel.
The Journal's competition is watching keenly. Last week, The New York Times, which competes with the Journal for national advertising, has announced a new weekend travel and auto section on Fridays as well as the expansion of several sections currently seen only in the Northeast to its national edition.
On the Net:
The Wall Street Journal: http://www.wsj.com
The New York Times: http://nytimes.com
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.