USA Today Launching Digital, Print Redesign

Gannett’s flagship newspaper, USA Today, announced today it’s relaunching its brand identity, and with it a redesigned paper (starting Friday) and website (starting this weekend). The redesign comes on the heels of the paper’s 30th anniversary — the colorful, graphic-heavy paper launched Sept. 15, 1982.

Here’s a quick video intro to the redesign (complete with a cheesy voiceover):

From USA Today’s own story on the relaunch:

The look and functionality of all digital platforms — the website, tablet app, new Facebook app and new mobile apps — also have been overhauled to facilitate bigger images and graphic-driven stories while presenting them in “a fun, engaging” way, the company says.

The web and tablet platform will also feature live video coverage, interactive weather mapping and more instant analysis and commentary. New user-control features will make customizing the pages easier for consumers.

AdAge helps put more specifics and detail to the web redesign changes:

The new design features photos prominently; a layout that may make visitors attempt to swipe at their desktop screens; and navigation based on what David Payne, Gannett’s chief digital officer, referred to as “left, right, close” clicking. When a visitor clicks on an article from the home page or a section front, the story bleeds to the front of the screen, and the underlying page stays. Readers will click arrows to the left and right of stories to get to new articles. In an ideal world for USA Today, after a few clicks viewers will be greeted with a full-screen ad similar to what you would see on tablets. Click an “x” button, and you are back to the home page or section front.

And Mashable adds more about how the print product will become more interactive itself:

The paper is littered with incentives to tune in online for additional coverage. Readers are also encouraged to watch referenced videos on their smartphones by scanning QR codes printed in the paper. Letters to the editor have been made over to feature comments left by readers on Facebook, Twitter and USA Today‘s website. As such, USA Today‘s print and digital properties no longer feel like separate entities, but in conversation with each other.

Sounds interesting and different, in a good way, especially if it draws more readers (to stay awhile and keep reading) and advertisers. What do you think?