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Past, current and future mastheads of The Christian Chronicle — in production since 1943 — are shown. The redesign of the print newspaper under the new masthead will launch in the May issue after months of preparation.
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Photos of past mastheads

New look, same great journalism

Partnering with an award-winning agency, The Christian Chronicle launches its first major redesign since 2000.

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The latest episode of The Christian Chronicle Podcast goes behind the scenes of the international newspaper’s new look.

Hear from the Chronicle’s journalists, Metaleap Creative’s José Reyes and — as a bonus — the editors of two student newspapers at universities associated with Churches of Christ.

Listen now.

 

This is a mockup of how the February 2024 edition of The Christian Chronicle would have looked with the new design. Compare it to the old look.

This is a mockup of how a recent edition of The Christian Chronicle would have looked with the new design. Compare it to the old look.

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OKLAHOMA CITY — “The next issue will surprise you and hopefully delight you,” Bailey McBride wrote in the April 2000 print edition of The Christian Chronicle. “We will have a sharper, more contemporary look. We will, however, strive even harder to report all the news of all the Churches of Christ.”

Twenty-four years later, the Chronicle staff is making the same promise.


Related: Editorial: Christian journalism means truth-seeking


A long-overdue redesign debuts in the May 2024 issue of the Chronicle, complete with new features and new fonts.

Instead of the Second Front, Across the Nation, Around the World, Currents and Partners sections, the paper will classify news under the headings of Matter of Fact (top stories), National, International and Life Matters, which will feature opinion content, Q&A interviews and reviews.

Along with the print redesign, the Chronicle’s social media and web presence are undergoing a refresh, with new logos, fonts and other design updates. Readers may have noticed some of these changes already.

The Chronicle’s new logo will identify the newspaper alongside its new masthead.

The Chronicle’s new logo will identify the newspaper alongside its new masthead.

Erik Tryggestad began working for McBride, then the editor of the Chronicle, in 2001. At the time, the newspaper’s current design was less than a year old.

“Traditionally, newspapers redesign about every five years,” said Tryggestad, now the Chronicle’s president and CEO. Though some readers may not remember a design before the current one, “as you look back through the archives at The Christian Chronicle, you realize this, in fact, is not the way it’s always been.”

“Traditionally, newspapers redesign about every five years. As you look back through the archives at The Christian Chronicle, you realize this, in fact, is not the way it’s always been.”

The new design was born out of necessity.

“Our fonts actually expired,” Tryggestad said. “I did not know that fonts could expire much like a gallon of milk. And yet, here we are. Our fonts simply do not work on the latest versions of our operating software.”

The Chronicle hired Metaleap Creative, an award-winning design agency in Atlanta that has redesigned faith-based publications including Christianity Today, World and Sojourners.

Months of consultation followed with Metaleap’s design team, headed by José and Nikolle Reyes, and with the Chronicle’s printer, Gannett.

Working closely with Chronicle staff to retain the newspaper’s purpose and identity, Metaleap developed the new design to be organized, professional, engaging — and, most importantly, trustworthy.


Previews of the Chronicle’s new design.

“The result is a design that I believe will be easier to read,” Tryggestad said. “It makes better use of space and doesn’t feel as crowded as our current design has become.”

Tryggestad assured readers that their favorite aspects of the Chronicle — including the games pages and monthly Brenton cartoon — aren’t going away.

And the newspaper’s commitment to “real news that honors God,” as its masthead reads, hasn’t changed, said editor-in-chief Bobby Ross Jr.

“As far as our mission of informing, inspiring and connecting members of Churches of Christ, that won’t change. We will still be traveling all across the United States and around the world to pursue important and interesting stories.”

“We’ll keep pursuing the same kind of stories because we feel like our readers like what we do,” Ross said. “As far as our mission of informing, inspiring and connecting members of Churches of Christ, that won’t change. We will still be traveling all across the United States and around the world to pursue important and interesting stories and trends. It’s just a matter of packaging.”

Scott LaMascus, the Chronicle’s former managing editor, echoed the same sentiment when he introduced the current design — which has undergone slight tweaks in the past 24 years — in April 2000.

“Our new design brings us up to the same national standards in design which Charlie Marler, professor of journalism at Abilene Christian University, brought to the Chronicle nearly 20 years ago,” LaMascus wrote. “A global outlook and an inclusive spirit will remain the markers of our identity.”

Past, current and future mastheads of The Christian Chronicle — in production since 1943 — are shown. The redesign of the print newspaper under the new masthead will launch in the May issue after months of preparation.

Mastheads of The Christian Chronicle — in production since 1943 — are shown through the years.

AUDREY JACKSON is Associate Editor of The Christian Chronicle. Reach her at [email protected].

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Filed under: Bailey McBride bobby ross Jr Christian Chronicle history Christian journalism Erik Tryggestad International journalism journalism and churches of christ Meta news Metaleap Creative National News Top Stories

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