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All the ways we're keeping our game tight

Last week, Bar-B-Q King announced that after almost 55 years in business, the westside staple is finally taking credit and debit cards. For those of us who frequent this old-fashioned drive-in that's only taken cash for decades, the upgrade is just an added bonus. You go for the savory pork or fried chicken anyway.

That's the way change is sometimes — not necessarily needed but still nice. We here at Creative Loafing are always up for a little change. In the last month, we've revamped the way we present our weekly critics' picks of things to do in Charlotte. Now called Top Ten Things To Do — could we have spelled that out any clearer? — our suggestions are more selective (recommending only 10 each week gets dicey) and to the point.

We've also introduced a couple of new columns: Offstage Sessions features an interview with someone in the local music scene; and The Social Eater, courtesy of Dani Brockington and found online at Eat My Charlotte, offers a handful of social media-shareable foodie events.

In our continued efforts to keep our game tight, we're unveiling a new look in this issue, our annual Summer Guide, spanning the cover all the way to the horoscope.


In case you somehow missed it, this issue's front page sports our classy new logo, courtesy of the inspiring Tamara LaValla of Social Design House in Rock Hill. We deliberately used contrasting font to describe who we are: "Creative" takes on a subtle and serious tone while "Loafing" projects our energetic and artistic side. This new version illustrates this paper's role as Charlotte's go-to source for local news, arts and culture coverage. (Read: We know how to have a good time, but we'll put on our big girl panties when we need to.) Plus, we wanted to celebrate our unique name, so we returned the logo to dominating the cover once again. (Longtime readers will remember that "Creative Loafing" was splashed across the front for more than 20 years.)

As you flip through the rest of this issue and future issues, you'll see that creative director Melissa Oyler has modernized and streamlined the design of the pages so that the stories and photography stand out. In today's technology-saturated society, attention spans — oh, let me go check my Twitter feed real quick — are dwindling. We wanted our makeover to draw you in and keep you engaged throughout the entire book.

See? This all came from a place of love.

But the redesign of our paper isn't the only cool new thing we're bringing your way. For 27 years, Creative Loafing's mission has been to cover Charlotte the best way we know how — with hyper-local reporting, thoughtful criticism and intelligent writing. Now, you can support that mission by donating to CL with Laudd, a new tool in marketing digital content. Your generous and completely voluntary contributions — whether that's a dollar or $10,000 — will help us continue to share the untold stories of our community, stories that other media are afraid to tell. Think of it as CL's own fundraiser, similar to those hosted by NPR or PBS (except we won't be interrupting our regularly scheduled programming).

How does it work?

1. Visit any story or blog post on our website - such as this one right here.

2. Look for the green Laudd button at the end - if you scroll down, you'll see what I'm talking about. There, you can create an account. You'll get a $5 credit just for signing up.

3. Click the Laudd button on any story that resonates with you — whether that's a column analyzing the General Assembly's latest moves and their effect on Charlotte or a review of the latest blockbuster movie — and donate whatever amount you choose. Every penny counts.

4. Feel good about yourself for supporting our endeavors to bring you truth-to-power journalism.

Over the next few months, you'll see more upgrades here at Creative Loafing. From our signature events — see you at Margarita Wars on June 21, right? — to long-form stories covering the topics you care about, we're continually working to give you the best Creative Loafing experience possible.

Because, just like the good barbecue at Bar-B-Q King (which is slow-cooked for 10 hours), it's all about the process.

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