Portland State Vanguard

Fall of 2013 marked a huge change for the Portland State Vanguard. A complete overhaul switched the paper from a traditional broadsheet to tabloid format. The format change of the student-run newspaper called for a complete overhaul of the brand to help mark the change.

The Mark

The thin slab-serif letters are both youthful and smart. The open counter forms provide a transparency the Vanguard sheds on the university. The newspaper allows students to stay connected to what is happening at the university and the community that surrounds Portland State, shown in the custom ligitures in the mark.

For flexibility with cover designs a second mark was created. Once the Vanguard brand was solidified with the student population, the primary mark can be switched out to give more room on the cover for the photo or illustration.

Format Change

Switching from a broadsheet to tabloid gave individual writers and designers a chance to shine. The cover highlights a story each week from one of the four sections at the newspaper. The designer teams up with the writer and section editor to create a stunning cover through illustration, photography, and type, as well as the accompanying two or three page spread.

The paper is built on a six-column grid to provide flexibility for page layout. For the news and sports sections, the six-column grid is used to allow the reader to easily process the dense information in smaller, more frequent paragraphs. The opinion section utilizes a broader three-column grid to allow for longer, more narrative driven paragrphs. The diverse content of the arts and culture section needs to more flexible, hence uses both grids, allowing the reader to jump from in-depth historical pieces to film, literature and music reviews.