All posts filed under: Digital

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 … 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 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 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 13 The Pugpig …

The Sun isn’t shining

Notebook: 26 November 2015 | NEWSPAPERS | DIGITAL Five weeks ago I reviewed the design of all the national newspaper websites (see link here). I’m back to take a quick look at The Sun which, in order to boost its readership, has now completely removed its paywall and is free to use (like all other newspaper websites apart from The Times). I’m glad to see that they now have a menu bar in place, but between now and early October when I last visited the site, they’ve tinkered with what was a surprisingly good looking design and the result, for me, is a disappointment. There are four issues that jump out at me: The letter spacing on all the headlines is too gappy (see above). You can just about get away with it on the smaller headlines because it becomes less evident, but on the large headlines, the letters look as though they’re drifting apart. It’s a quick fix – just track them a bit tighter – and this will increase the character count at the same time and will make it easier for the sub to …

Newspaper website design 2

Notebook: 18 October 2015 | DIGITAL Part two: The Daily Mail | The Daily Express | The Daily Mirror | The Sun Here’s the second of my two-part review into the design of newspaper websites. Yesterday I looked at the The Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian and The Independent. Today I’m taking a look at the online offerings from the ‘tabloid’ press. Once again I’ve pushed my political views and prejudices to one side. My judging criteria was simple – the site had to look attractive and it had to be an enjoyable user experience – quick to load and redraw, easy to navigate and good on the eye with well crafted typography and bold, lively imagery.  And I set myself a simple test: how easy was it to find a match report on the Pakistan v England Test match. For a bit of fun I’ve awarded marks out of 10. Here’s the results… (These reviews were done on Sunday 18 October between 7 and 9am using an iPad 2. I have yet to look and see how these websites appear on a smart phone) The Daily Mail’s Mail Online According to Wikipedia, Mail Online is the most …

Newspaper website design 1

Notebook: 17 October 2015 | DIGITAL Part one: The Times | The Telegraph | The Guardian | The Independent With newspaper print sales continuing to fall, the quality of their publishers’ online offerings are more important than ever. Here’s the first of my two-part review into which is the best designed newspaper website. My judging criteria was simple – it had to look attractive and it had to be an enjoyable user experience. I was looking for a site that was quick to load and redraw, easy to navigate and good on the eye with well crafted typography and bold, lively imagery. I made a note of the time it took to load up the front page for each site (The reviews were done on Saturday 17 October between 7 and 8am using an iPad 2. I live in the middle of the countryside so my connection isn’t great…). And I set myself a simple test: how easy was it to find a report on the on-going day’s play of the Pakistan v England test match. For a bit of fun I’ve awarded marks out of 10. Here’s …

Our cricket club website clocks up 25,000 views in under 6 months

Notebook: 24 August 2015 Earlier in the year we put together a new website for our local village cricket team in Garboldisham. The site went live in March and has been really well received by the club and its members and in under 6 months we’ve already clocked up 25,000 views! The site is always kept up-to-date with match fixtures, results and reports, photos, stats, quotes, member profiles and lots of other goodies. You can see our website for the club at It’s built in WordPress and uses a lovely, clean, modern theme (template) called Zuki developed by Elma Studio in Germany/NZ. We liked the theme so much that we used it for this updated Gilburt and Paul website as well.

New look website

Notebook: 15 August 2015 You’ll have noticed that we’ve re-done our website. We liked the old one but we like this one even more! It’s fully responsive so will look equally as good and be as easy to use, across all platforms. It uses a clean and contemporary WordPress theme called Zuki which has been designed by Elma Studio in Germany/New Zealand. We hope you’ll like it.

Arunas Kacinskas

Notebook: 19 April 2015 I see that the illustrator Arunas Kacinskas has some very nice illustration in the May 2015 issue of Wired magazine (pictured above). He was asked to create a cityscape for an article on smart cities. I love a good infographic. When I was working at Archant Dialogue we were asked to design the Archant website and part of the brief was to show a graphic that would represent Archant in a fun way. We called upon Arunas Kacinskas and he produced a stylised representation of Archant  – workers in offices, newspaper delivery vans, a TV studio and so on. We then applied some simple animation to bring the drawing to life in a light-hearted way. You can view the illustration here: The pesky programmer built in an ‘easter egg’ – a hidden joke. If you click on one of the office windows when it lights up at night time, an alien spaceship comes down and abducts one of the Archant employees! Click the window again and an alien returns in place of the employee. Jolly japes! (Only works on a computer and not on a tablet or phone)

I don’t like cricket, I love it

Notebook: 3 March 2015 Anyone who knows me well will know that I enjoy watching cricket and one of my latest projects has been to re-design my local village team website. I’m lucky to live in Garboldisham, a small village in South Norfolk, and just across the road from our house is the fantastic Garboldisham Cricket Club. My son Joe played there for many years and I was one of the youth team managers. The club has been in existence for over 150 years and is now a thriving organisation with four adult teams, youth teams in every age group and a women’s team. You can see my new look website for the club at It’s built in WordPress and uses a clean, modern theme (template) called Zuki developed by Elma Studio  in Germany. In fact I like the Zuki theme so much that I’ve used it for this updated Gilburt and Paul website.