The giant timers John Stackhouse brought into The Globe and Mail’s newsroom still say there’s four days until the newspaper’s redesign goes public, but we got a sneak peak at what’s in store thanks to a prototype released over the weekend.

It has only been three years since the newspaper launched its last redesign, which then editor-in-chief Edward Greenspon described as “the next generation of The Globe and Mail.”

But they really mean it this time, says Phillip Crawley, Publisher and CEO of the Globe, who claims the newspaper is “embarking on a new era.” Friday’s issue, we’re told, will be a “dramatically redesigned newspaper that features the most significant changes in the Globe‘s history.” In other words, expectations are high.

Charles Apple, a visual journalist based in the U.S., wrote an extensive early analysis of the redesign for The American Copy Editors Society, saying it looked “very, very Guardian-esque.” He commented on the large lead art at the top, the row of smaller stories at the bottom and said “smart stuff out of Toronto.”

True, but it’s still looking an awful lot like its former self, but with snappier visuals and a bit more white space. I guess we’ll have to wait for the physical copies to hit the stand to see why the Globe believes “colour on every page, outstanding photo and graphic production, special stock paper and custom print options for advertisers” will ring in a new era.