Toronto.com’s redesign is coming to a close with the launch of a new look.
The print paper’s Tuesday edition will be the last to carry the current design for the start of the relaunch. The big news, however, was that the paper was using a pre-Final Cut Pro font, and that the new design incorporates some of the work of veteran typographer and creator of the Metrogate font Joel Shoehorn. The Toronto Star and its sister paper the Globe and Mail have used Shoehorn’s Metrogate fonts since 2005.
The visuals were “designed so that the image itself is enhanced and provided real depth of detail,” Shoehorn wrote via email, “by helping the reader visually draw a line between image and text.”
Here are some of the highlights of the new look:
A new typeface has been selected for the main content of the site, which will change each day from design to design. “The designer who created it originally wanted to use an older style of type, the old outmoded Galton type that was used back in the day, but the folks at Star Media decided that it was too tired and worn-out to use,” according to a release.
The news pages feature a “lens” effect that will make the text scroll down the page more like a magazine article rather than paper.
An activity layer pops up on the page. “This appears in green pixels above images, and above images from the paper, to help bring the news into a dynamic visual space,” the release says.
An easy-to-scan navigation bar and a dedicated entertainment page will be incorporated.
A presence on Apple’s News app will be added.
A “Digital Home” section will focus on news beyond just news pages.
The newly redesigned site will serve as a preview of what a new Toronto Star.com will look like when fully launched in spring 2019. That site will include a “slightly younger-looking front page” that the release describes as “one that’s more modern” and “less staid” than the site’s current design. The paper will also promise more “modern, high-quality multimedia” content.
All of this comes as the Star has been taking concrete steps to improve its digital properties. The flagship Star has transitioned to an iPad-optimized design in recent months, and the paper says its website traffic grew 11 percent last year compared to 2014.
Correction: This post originally misspelled the name of artist Joel Shoehorn.
This article has been updated to reflect a change to the Toronto Star redesign.