All posts filed under: Newspapers

New look Sunday Times: packing a punch but with style

Notebook: 3 April 2017 | NEWSPAPERS The Sunday Times newspaper has just undergone a much-needed redesign (with a little help from myself on the design of the Culture section). The rather dated looking old paper with its clunky typography and mish-mash of styles has been replaced with a fresher and coherent design that is a pleasure to read. Editorial design gurus, Mark Porter and Simon Esterson worked alongside art director Russel Herneman and his team over a nine-month period to craft the new look and to test and bed-in the new designs. Porter and Esterson have collaborated before on major newspaper projects including The Guardian (pre Mark Porter’s Berliner-sized redesign of 2005), Publico (Lisbon), Avui (Barcelona) and NZZamSonntag (Zurich). Their starting point was to replace the existing headline serif font ‘Sunday Times Modern’ and the awkward looking sans-serif ‘Solido’ with a new set of elegant and robust fonts that would work well through all the different sections of the newspaper. To quote the designer and author Francesco Franchi, “the secret history of newspaper design, the one that is never apparent and readers are not aware of, lies in …

Attention to detail

Notebook: 29 March 2017 | NEWSPAPERS | DIGITAL Over the last couple of years, and with little fanfare, The Telegraph newspaper has undergone a major design overhaul that started in 2015 with the main newspaper, filtered out across the website, digital edition and live app and was ‘completed’ in March 2017 with the redesign of the Saturday Telegraph Magazine. Although it’s a newspaper I choose not to buy because of its political bias, I do admire it for the quality of its finely crafted design and attention to typographic detailing. The brains behind the Telegraph group’s redesign is creative director Jon Hill who joined The Telegraph in May 2014 after having worked for seven years at The Times. Hill’s brief from the group’s owners and the editor, was to improve, modernise and bring consistency to The Telegraph. It was refreshing that he had an understanding ‘client’ who gave him a free hand and told him that ‘everything was up for grabs’. He assembled a team of designers for the task, that included Nicola Ryan, Sara Martin, Mark Hickling, Joel Wade, Fraser …

Wrestling with a broadsheet

Notebook 8 February 2017 | NEWSPAPERS | TEACHING Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) is one of the few graphic design courses in the UK that offers students the option to specialise in editorial design via their BA degree in ‘Design for Publishing’. Regular readers may remember my review of their excellent degree show last summer. The course has a high success rate for graduates taking up careers in magazine, book and newspaper publishing as well as digital publishing and graphic design. Each year, 2nd-year students are split into small groups and are set a project where they have to redesign pages 1-3 of the Sunday Times newspaper along with designs for a digital version for phone and ipad. A printed newspaper may be an old medium to work with but the strict design nature of the task means that the students quickly learn all about using grids, typography and type hierarchy as well as visual storytelling, picture editing and simple clear communication. This year we encouraged the students to also think about how a redesign might be able to attract younger readers. …

The best of the Ali tribute supplements

Notebook: 7 June 2016 | NEWSPAPERS A big news event often brings out the best journalism and news design – big pictures, great picture editing, well crafted infographics, ‘poster’ front pages, timelines, sidebars, striking quotes and so on. We saw it with the coverage of David Bowie’s death and life (see link) and this week the quality newspapers have again pulled out all the stops with their tribute issues celebrating the life of Muhammad Ali. Here’s my pick: THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH I might not agree with The Sunday Telegraph’s political stance but I do love the design of their newspaper. It’s carefully and very subtly crafted with fine attention to typographic detail. It has both a traditional and sober elegance plus a freshness and lightness of touch. Their headline font is the wonderful Austin by Commercial type foundry which comes in a great range of weights. Their large broadsheet size allows them to run big, big pictures and on pages 2-3 and 4-5 of their eight-page Ali supplement they’ve splashed with two of the very best Ali pics (see picture …

inews.co.uk: Black and white and red all over

Notebook: 14 April 2016 | NEWSPAPERS | DIGITAL It’s been an eventful start to the year for the UK newspaper industry. We’ve seen the launch of the breezy New Day newspaper by Trinity Mirror Group, the disappearance from our newsstands of The Independent with its bold move to a digital only future, and on Monday this week we’ve had the ‘re-launch’ of the i newspaper by its new owner Johnston Press and today (14 April 2016) the i has launched inews.co.uk. This is the i‘s first proper news website (in the past when the i shared a stable with The Independent they piggybacked on to the Indy‘s website). I’ve always liked the i newspaper with its dip-in-and-out bite-sized articles (see my review here of the i Weekend supplement which was introduced in September last year) and under its new owners the paper has retained its successful design. When they announced that they were producing an online edition I looked forward to seeing how the newspaper would translate to digital – but when I clicked through to the site this morning, I was disappointed with their …

30 years of Independent design

Notebook: 22 March 2016 | NEWSPAPERS During its 30 year existence The Independent newspaper went through several changes of clothes and its last redesign in 2013 was arguably its best yet – but sadly it was never going to help stop declining sales and in late March 2016 the last copies rolled off the press and it headed for a digital-only future. Here’s a look back at its various incarnations via a timeline. There may have been odd periods when visually, it lost its way, but I’ll always remember it for its finely crafted typography and its strong and carefully edited photography. Sources and links 1 Mike Dempsey’s blog 27.3.2012 2 The Independent 9.11.2005 3 Journalist’s Week 2.2.1990 4 cases-assoc.com 5 The Independent: Too gaudy for words. Rick Poynor, Eye magazine 20.10.2008 6 The Independent redesign in pictures. The Guardian 20.4.2010 7 Red top. Alexander Ecob,  Eye magazine 11.10.2011 8 The Independent drops Viewspaper in redesign. The Guardian 11.10.2011 9 The Independent redesigns. Creative Review 7.11.2013 10 Classic with a Twist. Amol Rajan, The Independent 1.11.2013 11 Why The Independent redesign does not go far enough. Andy Cowles’ blog 10.11.2013 12 mattwilley.co.uk 13 The Pugpig …

It’s a New Day

Notebook 2 March 2016 | NEWSPAPERS I dislike the Daily Mail and the Daily Express – not just because of their political stance and bias but because they just look so ugly and old fashioned. Headlines are set in crude bold condensed fonts and insist on shouting at the reader in CAPS from their front and back pages; other headlines have tired underscoring; text is splodgy and difficult to read and their lead front page stories start with the first para in about 12pt, the second para in about 10pt and then the rest of the copy in the regular smaller text size… arrgh! This is design from the dark ages and it’s a style that has unfortunately pervaded much of the national and regional press for many years. So what a relief it was to see the bright and breezy The New Day hit the news stands on Monday 29 February. Here is a paper that looks lively and modern and feels like a breath of fresh air when seen alongside the Mail and Express. Fonts are more contemporary, colours are fresher …

A love for portrait photography

Notebook: 18 February 2016: PHOTOGRAPHY I’m a big fan of strong editorial portrait photography and a lovely little book called Read this if you want to take great photographs of people recently caught my eye. If you are a budding portrait photographer or are just interested in, and like looking at portraits of people, then this book is one to look out for. It’s written by Henry Carroll and was published last year by Laurence King and it’s full of loads of good tips and images. Here’s one of my favourite pictures from the book – Arnold Newman’s well known portrait of the composer Igor Stravinsky which Newman cropped to add to its impact. Igor Stravinsky by Arnold Newman, 1946. Cropped and uncropped versions During my time as art director at the publisher and content marketing agency Archant Dialogue, we produced a magazine for Olympus cameras. Each issue of the magazine would carry a photo competition which myself and my colleagues would judge. We’d spread all the pictures out on a large table and then slowly whittle them …

Bowie tribute issues – how the quality press covered his death

Above: The Guardian front page 12.1.16. Design by Guardian Design. Photo by Lord Snowden 1978 Notebook: 18 January | NEWSPAPERS The news of David Bowie’s death broke a week ago at about 7am on Monday 11 January 2016. This gave the newspapers a good 12 hours to prepare special tribute issues which hit the streets the following morning. Soon after the Monday morning announcement, the full weight of the newspapers’ editorial teams – journalists, picture researchers and designers – would have swung into action to produce their special editions – and by the end of the day they were ready to press the button and see their specials come rolling off the presses. This is where printed newspapers can excel against digital – it would be impossible to provide a reader with a souvenir edition with an online version alone. Many of the papers ran with full front page tribute pictures of Bowie and all other news was relegated to the inside pages. Understandably it’s not often that a newspaper will do this but when they do, and if their picture is …

Remembering Peter Sullivan

Notebook 17 January 2016 | NEWSPAPERS | INFOGRAPHICS I’ve been helping with some teaching on the excellent Design for Publishing course at Norwich University of the Arts (NUA). The students have been set a project by Gordon Beckett, the Design Editor of The Sunday Times, that requires them to redesign pages of The Sunday Times print and digital editions. It’s made me think back to those glory years of The Sunday Times in the late 60s, 70s and 80s when the paper (and magazine) was renowned for its investigative journalism, great photography and strong design, under the editorship of Harold Evans. A highlight for me each week were the brilliant infographics drawn by the illustrator and graphic designer, Peter Sullivan. His drawings would explain the sequence of events in a major news story and would really help to bring that story to life – such as how the passengers and crew were rescued from the Zeebrugge ferry disaster in 1987 (above) and how the Chilean president Augusto Pinochet survived an ambush and assassination attempt in 1986 (below). Peter Sullivan died in 1996. You …