Problem = Lack of access to awareness of 39 suburban publications

Solution = Create a central website for readers to access all publications


Chicago Tribune Suburban Publications


Senior Creative Director, User Experience Designer, Visual Designer, Lead Developer

Skills & Services
  • User Experience Design
  • User Interface Design
  • Wireframing
  • User Flows & Journeys
  • Creative Direction
  • Visual Design
  • PHP Development

HTML, CSS, JavaScript, JQuery, PHP, XML, MySQL, SEO

Project Description

Chicago Tribune produces 39 suburban news publications across Chicagoland. Their digital presence consisted of small category archives, buried in The only way users were aware these publications existed or could subscribe was through direct mail or if they walked past the newspaper in a store.

The central website not only created a new brand voice, it reduced the barrier of entry for consumers to find the right publication based on their suburban location.

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The Brand Voice

A way of renewing the connection between consumer of any of the 39 suburban publications was to find an emotional tone while building on the benefit that each publication includes the best local news by local journalists. With local as the focus and value, the ‘neighborhood’ was created. Moving away from the label ‘suburb’ and talking about each area as a neighborhood helped strengthened the connection to local and create a feeling of ownership to the surrounding community.

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Establishing a Digital Presence

Since no single digital presence existed for these publications the decision to design and build one was an easy one. Our marketing campaigns for building awareness would be geo targeted and by building in location detection on entry to the website we could immediately suggest the right publication of the 39 available to the user without requiring interaction. Once a user found a publication we not only clearly communicated the benefits of the product, but populated a collection of past stories as a taste of what to expect and populated a UI with popular content categories that linked back to that suburban section on

Once we connected a user to the prefered publication they could then subscribe or preview that publications local news. Each product detail page linked to Chicago Tribune’s payment portal. We were able to integrate into the typical conversion flow for the company allowing new subscribers to immediately gain access to all benefits and enjoy their local news without any restrictions.

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After only 5 months of running the rebranded marketing campaign, the amount of subscriptions for these publications exceeded the total from the past 2 years.