Editor: Aug. 2011 ‘Wall Street Journal’ ad revenue up 24 percent over Aug. 2010

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The 2006 redesign, before and after. ()
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The Wall Street Journal saw a 24-percent increase in print ad revenue in August when compared to August of 2010, an increase that occurred "while other national newspapers have reported distressing declines in advertising," managing editor Robert Thomson wrote in a memo to staff this morning.

The reason for Thomson's note was the debut today of a some design tweaks that have added more color throughout the paper, a change that Adweek's Lucia Moses first reported on two weeks ago.

"The newspaper has a new livery, complete with color-coded sections and stock and index tables with suddenly vivid personalities," Thomson wrote.

The modest makeover was shepherded by the Journal's creative director, Tomaso Capuano, who likewise oversaw the launch of the "Greater New York" section in early 2010. Capuano came to the paper after Rupert Murdoch's takeover of Dow Jones, Inc., in 2008, to work on the magazine WSJ. At the outset, the paper was redesigned for Murdoch by the famous Mario Garcia, whose design was more drastic and controversial when it debuted in 2006.

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Here's the whole memo, complete with promises the Journal won't become a "manga":

Dear All,

The newspaper has a new livery, complete with color-coded sections and stock and index tables with suddenly vivid personalities. We owe much thanks to the production and logistics teams, who have worked plant-by-plant to enable us to maximize the use of color across the country. Our designers, led by Tomaso Capuano, have fine-tuned our fonts and added subtle but meaningful pigments to the pages, injecting vivacity while not making us a manga.

Special thanks also to Robin Haynes, Tom Post, John Nichols, Heather “Shifty” Stephens, Randy Price and Bob Rosenthal, who did much of the behind-the-scenes toil necessary for such a significant change. Bill Power was the power in the land and Ann Podd was magisterial in liaising with the commercial squad and coordinating our lovably unruly team.

It’s worth noting that while other national newspapers have reported distressing declines in advertising, our print ad revenue in August was 24 per cent higher than the same month last year. Meanwhile, WSJ magazine on Saturday was full of gloss and class, and the Saturday edition itself has reached a standard of quality and originality unmatched elsewhere in the country.

The Wall Street Journal, in print and in digital, is flourishing. Thanks for helping to make it that way,

Robert.