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Newspaper changed design drastically over the century

Associate Editor

Published: Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 00:12


Provided by Archives

In 100 years of publication, the layout and publication of the Houstonian Independent newspaper has drastically changed.

When The Houstonian began it was a monthly paper. This quickly changed, two years later in 1915 to a weekly paper.

In the Oct. 11, 1916, edition of the newspaper, English professor and first Houstonian adviser L. E. King spoke about the importance of this change.

"[This] was an admirable act for so small a student body," King said.

In the 1950s The Houstonian changed to a semi-weekly paper, and has been ever since.

The layout began as a black and white, seven-column and 22 inches by 14 inches. Now it is color, five-column and 10.75 inches by 21.5 inches.

In the early years all seven columns were filled with words. These weren’t 500 word long articles like we have today; they were "briefs" which were seven to 12 lines about a subject.

The first photograph, a head shot of Dr. Geo Guille from the Moody Bible Institute, was introduced on Oct. 31, 1916. Color was first introduced in the homecoming issue on Nov. 10, 1956. Sammy the Bearkat was drawn in three-tones on Nov. 21, 1959.

Speaking of Sammy, the first ti me he was photographed in the paper was on Dec. 19, 1959.

The Houstonian has had more than 20 mastheads over the years. Until about the 1930s the masthead was simple. It was block type and black font. An image was added in the ‘30s.

Not only was an image of Sam Houston on his horse added it was trademarked in April 1938. This trademark lasted 20 years.

In the ‘40s the masthead had the SHSU campus skyline behind it. In the ‘60s and ‘70s the staff moved the masthead from the top of the page to the middle periodically.

Between 2010 and now the masthead became the single letter "H" styled in different ways.

The Houstonian is not new to special editions either. They have been around since the ‘20s where the staff had a tradition for each class to get a special edition filled with specific events for them. Each edition for each class were marked distinctly with different colors.

Today the Houstonian still uses these special editions or sections to address specific events or issues that the staff deems relevant to the student body.

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