Woolwich & Wellesley Township's Local Community Newspaper | Elmira, Ontario, Canada
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Origin Issue

Origin Issue

The first issue was created at the University of Waterloo Imprint office. The logo featured Casablanca Antique font, but many readers saw two heads facing outwards in the lett ‘O’. Nope, it was just a font.
March 30, 1996
Adding some colour

Adding some colour

Not long after we started to publish, the Kitchener This Week paper folded. We borrowed their green colour and a few design elements. We bumped up our circulation and started delivering the paper with The Record.
January 18, 1997
Next level

Next level

Local graphic artist Ron Letkeman approached us with a mockup design of a new logo using Bauer Bodoni font and a new newspaper layout. This was the beginning of printing full-colour pages every week, the first local paper to lead the way.
July 26, 1997
Forever blue

Forever blue

Blue and red colour was introduced to the logo. Much research was compiled before finalizing the colour. Both colours were deemed to present a professional timeless appeal which is what we were going for. This palette was maintained throughout the years.
September 5, 1998
Big and bold

Big and bold

Drop shadows were introduced in Photoshop … ugh. We weren’t alone over-using this feature. Big bold and chunky was the theme of this redesign. The Observer was online and wanted to identify as Canadian so introduced the maple leaf into our logo.
September 2, 2000
Minor tweaks

Minor tweaks

A minor tweak to the design after a year of the heavy drop shadow. This was the last design to feature a price. We assigned a value because free implied the paper had no value – we know that’s not true. Some local stores sold them and kept the money for themselves.
September 1, 2001
Teasers

Teasers

Teasers looked great and highlighted stories within the paper. These little cut-out ones were a pain and designers spent hours cutting out images and rebuilding body parts that were out of the shot. This design survived five years without a tweak.
October 5, 2002
Growing up

Growing up

Bold, blue, grey and chevrons introduced. We used a condensed version of Bauer Bodoni and put a solid fill of red in the maple leaf. We dropped Woolwich from Observer as we had extended coverage to Wellesley township residents.
February 3, 2007
Staff Initiative

Staff Initiative

Matthew French was a staff graphic designer who did a complete redesign of the Observer by himself. The first and only time. No surprise to us that Matthew heads up the graphics dept. at the Globe and Mail. We introduced a masthead ad spot which has been a sell-out since. French also built our first WordPress website that he learned on the job. That site placed in the top 4 just under The Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, Now Magazine.
February 10, 2010
All in the fonts

All in the fonts

This redesign was based around fonts. Gotham and Tiempos were paired, the white in the logo brightened up the nameplate. Tiempos was sourced from a boutique font bureau in New York City. Seven years with this design is the longest run. The masthead and section heads took on the speech bubble appearance as metaphor for conversations.
March 3, 2012
Less is more

Less is more

Include detailed timelines for your Sometimes less is more. A little more whitespace is always a good thing. We re-introduced weekend weather again (last was 1997), as well as gave our teaser story a more prominent feature on the cover. Gotham replaced by Proxima Nova font.
February 7, 2019
Current Look

Current Look

A solid blue nameplate was missed and returned as part of the iconic design element of the Observer brand. Tiempos is paired with Inter font which is also the font displayed at www.observerxtra.com. A redesign of the website accompanied this design.
October 8, 2020