Why Chicago Reader’s new site looks a lot like NYMag.com

“Wow, ChicagoReader.com relaunched as a crappy version of the nymag.com & vulture.com sites,” Ian Adelman, NYTimes.com digital design director and former New York magazine web designer, tweeted on Wednesday night.

I asked Chicago Reader editor Mara Shalhoup about her redesigned site looking a lot like NYMag.com. She replied in an email:

Any similarities are purely intentional. Talent might borrow, but . . .

To be fair, though, while NYMag.com was a large source of inspiration, there were others: Dirty-Mag.com, TheStranger.com, Yann Legendre (who graciously worked with us on the site’s styling), House Industries’ fonts/icons, and even old print versions of the Chicago Reader.

I look forward to other sites stealing – but hopefully not one-upping us on – some of our better ideas, particularly Old Movies to Watch Now. I also suspect we’ll see a lot more photo booth head shots supplanting awkward journalist mugs. I’m betting we were the first to come up with that one.

* Introducing the new ChicagoReader.com