Bay Guardian Celebrates 40th Anniversary With Dramatic Redesign

CONTACT: Deborah Giattina, 415-487-2573

The San Francisco Bay Guardian, the nation’s longest-lived independent alternative newspaper, kicked off its 40th anniversary celebration this week with a dramatic redesign that emphasizes the paper’s distinctive voice and hellraising roots.

“This is different from anything anyone is doing in the alternative press today,” said Kat Topaz, whose Portland-based firm, Topaz Design, did the redesign work. “Instead of trying to be flashy, we’re focusing on the heart of what the paper does well.”

The design offers more of everything the Bay Guardian is known for: More news, more opinion, more arts writing, more listings — and more picks from the paper’s critics on the best of what San Francisco has to offer.

The design also reflects the changing habits of modern readers: “Today’s readers are very savvy,” Topaz said. “We’re making it as straightforward and honest as the writing.”

Tim Redmond, executive editor, said the design changes will highlight the paper’s strengths. “We’re an activist paper, an opinionated paper, and a paper that understands and appreciates the beauty, life, and fun of San Francisco,” he said. “This takes our political and cultural roots into 2006.”

The redesign is the beginning of a year-long celebration of the paper’s 40th anniversary. Founded in 1966 by Bruce B. Brugmann and Jean Dibble, the Bay Guardian remains a locally-owned independent business in an industry marked by a disturbing level of consolidation.

“Big chains are taking over a lot of the media marketplace, including the alternative press,” Redmond said. But the Bay Guardian is still under the same ownership, still true to its mission.

“Unlike the big corporate media, we’re a part of this community, we care about this community — and we’re proud to have a 40-year track record as a San Francisco Bay Area institution.”