CHICAGO — The People’s Weekly World launched its new look Jan. 8. But it took months of behind-the-scenes work to prepare for the redesign. Our graphic design desk drafted page after page and critiqued them with the editorial board before the new look was ready to go.

It’s time to meet the talent behind the design: Valency Hastings, Marguerite Wright and Barbara Russum. Hastings and Wright joined the PWW staff in June 2004. Wright brings years of professional experience to the job, starting with the “old-fashioned” way of design — actual cutting and pasting copy with razor and glue rather than a keystroke. Hailing originally from Detroit, Wright is a graduate of Western Michigan University. She, her husband and children live in a south suburb of Chicago.

Hastings, a recent graduate of Chicago’s Columbia College in graphic design, says her favorite class was typography because “you can do a lot with fonts.” A Chicago native, Hastings lives in the city with her husband and children.

Russum joined the PWW staff two years ago. Formerly the Modern Bookstore manager, she brings her extensive knowledge of the working-class press and artistic flair to this collaborative effort. Russum lives in the Bridgeport neighborhood where the editorial offices of the PWW are housed in the brand-new, “green” renovated Unity Center.

“These women, in their own individual ways, bring such working-class talent, smarts and strength to the People’s Weekly World,” said Terrie Albano, PWW editor. “And through the collective process of producing a newspaper, they knit a whole greater than the sum of the individual threads.”

Hastings, Wright and Russum are three key people on Team PWW.