The Patriot Ledger marked a milestone anniversary yesterday, celebrating 175 years of publishing a local newspaper on the southern outskirts of Boston.
To honor the event, the staff at the Ledger decided produce the Thursday edition as it looked back in the 1800s. The design staff, IT folks and technicians painstakingly recreted the old look by scanning an original early-edition newspaper to copy the nameplate of The Quincy Patriot, the predecessor to The Patriot Ledger.
Chazy Dowaliby sent along some comments on how it all came together:
During the first six months of our 175th anniversary year, The Patriot Ledger has engaged our audience around the theme of Our shared history, Our shared future. This week we brought past and present together in a special edition and public happening that generated a buzz from downtown Quincy to the halls of Congress.
We designed and produced four pages of the paper in the style of our 19th century roots – including resurrection of an intricate, elegant front page nameplate. While we did reprint some wonderful “news” reports from the 1800s, our staff also wrote and edited on deadline in the style of the times.
Our librarian Linda Chapman scoured microfilm for examples of stories and typography and advertising to use as templates.
Designer Dorene Reardon created the typography and page formats, working with online news editor Steve Ide. The copy desk kept us true to era. Reporters read old editions and took up the voice.
Coordinating with our advertising and consumer marketing departments, we promoted the edition – sold for the “authentic” price of 5 cents – that created space for front page advertising, and a special 18 page keepsake section of famous front pages – which resulted in a 56 page paper – also available as a complimentary e-edition on the day.
To engage our readers, we asked for poetry (a staple of our early front pages) and received more than 50 submissions. And we “went public” with a hometown event that drew hundreds to the center of our city to see horse drawn carriage carrying our newsboys, dressed in traditional knickers and caps, hawking papers and riding along with President John Quincy Adams.
Speeches were made. Proclamations of praise issued from the Governor, our Congressman and the Mayor. Our TV media partner covered the event, as did local cable.
But most heartening was the response from the hundreds of people who turned out for the celebration. They couldn’t wait to get their hands on the edition. Our circulation folks couldn’t keep up with the demand. Now that’s a party!
Fantastic! The entire Patriot Ledger staff should be proud of this work. Just great!
Below are images from the Thusday paper done in the old style, as well as today's front page coverage of the celebration.
And if you want to check out the online coverage, go here. The site includes videos of the event, including a behind-the-scenes look at how tthey built the retro section. Love it!
Joe Greco is corporate design director for GateHouse Media.
Contact him at email@example.com.