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A new sheriff in town

Nicole Toczauer | Monday, August 29, 2011

It started like any other night at the bar. The cowboys were settling in after a long day, drinks in hand, their sweethearts nestled beside them, the piano player playing a rickety tune in the back corner. All was peaceful until a gunshot broke the silence.

Every soul in the room jumped a foot in the air. Folks scattered, sending chairs and tables flying. But no, there was no shootout; the sound had come from outside. We all rushed out back to see what had happened, and there he was.

Editor in Chief Douglas Farmer, pistol in hand, standing over the body of Quark; his lady InDesign by his side as he muttered, “Good riddance.”

Okay, so there was no shootout, the “bar” is none other than our lovely South Dining Hall Basement (which you all should have seen during our open house Sunday) and Douglas Farmer never shot anyone.

The fantastic Old West theme for the introduction to this Inside Column is my spinoff of an e-mail Douglas sent The Observer staff last week on the last night the paper was produced with Quark, our old page layout design software.

Some will mourn the absence of Quark — notably Miss Amanda Gray, a Quark wizard unlike any other. But for the most part, I think the entire Observer production staff will be happy to welcome InDesign, our new layout program, to The Observer office.

No more computer crashes will lead to fewer late nights, fewer late nights will lead to happier production staffs, and happier production staffs will lead to a better paper (and less “zombified” students in your classes, though you probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference around midterms anyway).

You, reading this column right now. Look at the paper you’re holding. Look up, look down. Puppy surprise, the paper is now tickets to that concert you really want to go to!

Okay, I’m not going to transition into some Old Spice commercial, but I’m pretty sure that caught your attention if you were starting to fall into the mid-column daze.

You may not realize how momentous this is (to us on production at least), but just understand you’re experiencing what will hopefully be one of the best changes in Observer history. Because at the end of the day, all of the work we put into this paper is for you, the readers.

Switching to InDesign was a bold move, a brave move even. Things might be a little hectic in the office until it all settles in, but here’s to welcoming the first edition of The Observer produced using InDesign!