Notice the new background for the Walnut Creek Patch site? Of course you have!
I've received scathing comments from readers about it:
--"Yuck!" it read in two readers' e-mail subject lines.
--"Nuke the green grass!!! It is very distracting and takes away from the professional look of the Patch site. What's next? Easter Eggs?"
--"Don't you have any say in this?"
-- "It's offensive and incredibly classless and amateur."
--"It's distracting and annoying and cheapens the whole thing. Really. What news organization has that kind of crap behind it? From a reader's standpoint it is ugly and from a marketing standpoint it is offensive."
The grass is a nod to Patch's company logo, and according to our design team (which handles such decisions commonly for our 800-plus sites) the goal is to let individual Patch sites have backgrounds (photos, for example) unique to their towns.
Let us know what you think. What if it was of oak trees, or a background that incorporates Mount Diablo or the gazebo at Civic Park — some scene with a Walnut Creek theme?
Or does any kind of background just make everything look too busy?
C'mon: Put on your art director hats and let me and other Walnut Creek Patch readers know, so that I can let the powers that be know.....