1922 Copy of AlligatorThe staple Alligator masthead, currently used today, was instituted in 1976. The Alligator underwent a major redesign overhaul in the summer of 2003. The redesign included complete restructuring of all sections within the paper only leaving behind the masthead as a marker of the past. Inspiration was taken from papers across the country including the St. Petersburg Times, The Washington Post, the Dallas Morning News, The San Diego Union-Tribune.

The main goal of the redesign was to create a more open design, allowing more white space and graphical elements. To utilize more color in the paper and to set and follow thorough guidelines for design and font use in each section to create consistency. Copy of early Alligator editionLastly the team wanted to add more reader-friendly elements throughout the paper.

The biggest challenge was incorporating more white space. The first addition to page one was the index box along the bottom of the paper. An index was also added to the sports page. This allowed the sports department to include tidbits of information for avid sports fans. The design team did away with the column format to allow for more layout possibilities.1922 Copy of Alligator

Special elements were added for easy readability. Story kickers were added for clarifications in headline writing. They consist of categories such as LOCAL GOVERNMENT or MEN'S BASKETBALL. They allow for more information to be given in the headlines. A deep red was chosen to contrast against the green on page one and the blue on the sports page, and to capture the attention of readers early on.

The most important guideline used to measure consistency and efficient use of elements is the dollar bill test. With the new redesign, a dollar bill should be able to be placed anywhere in any direction on any page and be able to touch an element. Other guidelines include proper placement of photos so that the subject does not look off the page carrying the reader away from the content.