Flood Can’t Stop Metro Spirit Overhaul

Augusta, GA’s alternative newsweekly washed away 18 years of history this week as it moved its publication to Wednesday from Thursday. The paper also introduced a complete redesign and moved to a new printer, all while thousands of gallons of water gushed from the ceiling of the Metro Spirit office onto the art department computers (an industrial-sized water heater burst in the office above the night before going to press).

“We wanted to give the readers an extra day of weekend,” said Publisher Joe White. “And since we were making a change anyway, we decided it would be a good time to totally redesign our paper. All in the name of improving our game for readers.”

The redesign was accomplished in partnership with Portland-based AAN associate member Topaz Design. Kat Topaz, who has consulted on redesigns for the SF Bay Guardian and Boston’s Weekly Dig said, “The mission was to create a package for Augusta that captured the values of the newspaper — smart, stimulating, honest and unexpected. Tom (Editor) and Betsy (Art Director) rolled up their sleeves and pursued that mission with tireless work. What we ended up with not only reflects those values but puts Metro Spirit’s design up there with leading weekly newspapers.”

Metro Spirit was founded in 1989 and is known as “Augusta’s Independent Voice.” The paper was acquired in 2005 by Charlottesville, VA-based Portico Publications. Portico publishes C-Ville Weekly in Charlottesville and Free Times in Columbia, SC. Both are AAN members.