You may have noticed that this week’s LANDMARK looks a little different. No, it’s not a mistake. What you’re holding is the new and improved Landmark, redesigned as part of broad effort to update and improve all of the weekly newspapers under the Wednesday Journal Inc. banner.

The redesign also happens to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the LANDMARK, which first appeared under the direction of original publisher James Finnegan in November of 1985, and the 25th anniversary of the company’s first publication Wednesday Journal.

The redesign process began in November when the company began working with newspaper designer Phillip Ritzenberg. Ritzenberg was the longtime lead editorial designer for the New York Daily News and has been doing freelance design work across the country for the last 10 years.

“He is an expert when it comes to redesigns,” said Dan Haley, Landmark publisher. “We first worked with him five years ago when we launched Chicago Journal in the South Loop and West Loop. That to me is a very handsome and stylish paper.”

Impressed by Ritzenberg’s attention to detail and eye, Wednesday Journal Inc. has since hired Ritzenberg to redesign its Chicago Parent magazine and now, as part of the company’s 25th anniversary celebration, he is back to redesign the company’s four other weeklies?”the Forest Park Review, Wednesday Journal of Oak Park and River Forest, Austin Weekly News and the Landmark.

“All of our papers started out with a set design. But over time and with the advent of desktop publishing and all its bells and whistles, they mutated and became a mishmash of text and headlines that don’t really fit together,” Haley said. “

The redesign will simplify the paper’s look and make it easier for readers. It will also take better advantage of the paper’s increased color capacity.

“The whole focus of our company is on publishing very local papers that fit with their towns. So each new design is separate and each one reflects the roots of that paper,” Haley said. “We didn’t want this to seem like a sausage factory that puts out a string of the same product.”