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Tech Talk gets a new look and feel

The newly-redesigned TechTalk.
The newly-redesigned TechTalk.

Note to our readers:

Welcome to the new Tech Talk.

Highlights of the weekly newspaper's new design include better organization; larger type; a back-page calendar of the most interesting events around MIT for this week and next week; and color on the front page, center spread and back page.

A distinguishing element on page 1 is the use of the blue and white masthead with the new MIT logo in red and gray. It will minimize the natural confusion with The Tech, our student newspaper cousin of similar name.

Focus group members who saw the prototype of the new design appreciated the page 1 teasers and the labels on each page that guide readers to different sections of the newspaper. The Reader's Guide on pages G1-G4 in the middle of this paper explains our changes in detail.

Why a new design?

The ultimate goal is to improve the way we serve you, the MIT community. MIT Tech Talk carries a mix of articles, photographs and graphics, and the occasional official pronouncements on policy matters. We want to make the newspaper more interesting to read, with better graphics, more stories and tighter writing.

Who reads Tech Talk? E-mail and web surveys last March indicated that our readers include more than 80 percent of the faculty and staff, nearly half of the graduate students and about a third of undergraduates.

What are you interested in? Your favorite topics, in this order, were news about research, innovations in teaching and curriculum, event listings, human interest stories about people at MIT, governance/policy issues, operational issues, student contests/events, and faculty/administrative appointments.

We will bring you that information each week in a more attractive framework created by Phil Nesbitt, a former president of the Society for News Design who has designed newspapers from New Jersey to New Zealand.

MIT Tech Talk distributes 15,000 copies on Wednesdays during term time, including 3,500 for retirees. It is published by the News Office in conjunction with the MIT News web site,, where we cover breaking news and features almost every weekday. Many alumni and MIT parents follow MIT news and Tech Talk via the web. The News Office also publishes the monthly web publications, MIT Research Digest and MIT E-NEWS.

Let us know what you think of the new Tech Talk. E-mail us at, or fill out the tear-off form at the end of the Reader's Guide [print version only] and send it to MIT Room 11-400.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 5, 2003.

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