Neirad’s New Age
September 2009
By Kevin Cassidy


Neirad is heading into a new age to meet the evolving demands of its teen audience.  In this technological era, DHS news content has created an online web page with a redesigned look.  Now, when a student wants a news fix, instead of going to the store to buy a newspaper, they can quickly look on the Internet for the latest headlines. 

In October of 2007 the Neirad crew took a big leap forward when the online edition of Neirad was launched. This new site is called Neirad Enilno.  (“Enilno” is “online” backwards) Priscilla Lombardi, the student founder for the online webpage who graduated in 2008, said, “Neirad Enilno not only opens up boundless opportunities to express student related issues, but it promotes the print version as well. Today almost every newspaper, magazine, or news channel has its own Web site.” Now Neirad Enilno is amongst these modern online news sources. The online destination now provides the student news team a vehicle to deliver even more news content to its audience in a faster manner.   

“[Neirad Enilno] was important because it was a modern improvement to Neirad,” this year’s Neirad Enilno Co-Editor-in-Chief Spencer Matson said.  

The improvements were not limited to the technological realm. In September, the new redesign was unveiled in the back-to-school issue. The fresh look was the first design change in more than 30 years. 

The Neirad team was fortunate to work with Billboard magazine Creative Director Josh Klenert on the project.  Klenert was able to introduce new techniques in Neirad that are starting to be used in the design world to better convey the character of the paper. Lindsay Gordon, Neirad’s Co-Editor-in-Chief for 2007-2008, had the opportunity to work with Klenert. Upon considering the experience Gordon said, “Working with Josh Klenert really allowed me to see what an important role design and layout have in newspapers and magazines. I realized that the design is just as important as the content because if your ideas aren't presented appealingly, your voice will never be heard.”

The redesign features bright blue accent pages and a catchy new Neirad banner. The new Neirad will also have three new fonts called Enigma, Prensa, and Antenna. With these fonts “we're able to create a dynamic look for Neirad by using different weights (the thickness and size of the fonts) to make pages more interesting and not just a boring wall of text,” Design Director Kevin Ramsey said. 

Ramsey went on to explain the different fonts: “Prensa is used for the titles exclusively, while all articles that aren't in blue are in Enigma. Columns are used in a cyan Antenna, and different variants of that font are used in the page numbers, dates, headings etc. We really try to focus on what is going to be most appealing to the readers, and I think by using the different weights and fonts we've accomplished that.

This year’s print editor-in-chiefs, Jenny Large and Kimberly Michels, both have the opportunity to work with the new design template. Large spoke of the interest of Neirad and said, “Neirad is a forum for student thought and expression. We do our best to produce articles that we feel reflect the concerns and the interests of the student body at Darien High School.” Likewise, Michels said, “No matter the changes and improvements that Neirad goes through it will always be for students. Neirad provides students with a means by which they can propose new thoughts, offer their opinions, and question what others may simply accept.”

Neirad Business Manager Tally Thoren has spearheaded the effort to sign up new ad accounts. This DHS senior has signed deals with many local businesses – an especially impressive accomplishment in this tough economic time. New clients include Tada, Darien Sports Shop, Darien Toy Shop, Vavalas, and Verizon Wireless Zone of Darien.  Ed Tunick’s, Barrett Bookstore, and Wish List are also back on board. These ads range from full page, half page and quarter page spots.  The money raised from advertising will be used in part to purchase archival and photo imaging software.  “We are currently interested in buying a new scanner,” Thoren added.

Yet, even with Neirad’s continuous changes Neirad still looks back to its past issues. An “archives team” has been created to place the entire Neirad archives, dating back to 1938, online. With the help of Neirad Enilno adviser Mr. Sean Otterspoor, a group of Neirad members, last year, were able to dig through the library newspapers and search through files on the computer to find out what Neirad used to look like “back in the day.”  In the midst of scanning and flipping through the archives, the students got many new ideas from old articles. From this, they have revivified some of the old themes, including the popular “Hot in the Lot” feature. “Hot in the Lot” can now be found exclusively each month on Neirad Enilno.  Yet, the archives not only gave new ideas to the Neirad crew but made it possible to preserve DHS history for students, faculty and Blue Wave alumni.

The redesign, Neirad Enilno website and archives are just some of the big projects Neirad is undertaking to keep pace with the ever changing face of media. These improvements continue to generate more interest in Neirad and draw in new student journalists, who are eager to sign up for the Advanced Journalism courses.

The integrated digital and print platforms are giving students professional opportunities to advance their skills and keep Neirad on the cutting edge of media as it continues to evolve into the 21st century.  

ABOUT US!

Neirad
is a monthly Darien High School student publication. The publication is a forum for student thought, expression, and journalistic awesomeness. Its content is decided solely by the student journalists themselves. A subscription can be ordered for $25. All comments, criticism, and subscription payments should be mailed to the editors at: Neirad, 80 High School Lane, Darien, CT 06820 or emailed to sohare@darienps.org.