For those of you who may not know, or are otherwise not familiar with ‘The Guardian’, a recent re-brand was carried out to establish the companies presence for a new age of online journalism. This situated a heavy duty re-build of the platform tabloid and a complete refresh of its staple masthead. So, a little bit of context before I proceed.
The Guardian pre-dates its early days in Manchester 1821 as a prospectus for a new paper known as ‘The Manchester Guardian’ , which soon had its first article published by founder, John Edward Taylor in the liberal interest, who would assume the position as editor. This position of which, was later filled by Charles Prestwich Scott, who held a predominant reign of the role from 1872 – 1929. Following the death of Charles Prestwich Scott in 1932, William Percival Crozier is appointed as editor. During this time, change was seen in the company which in 1936, ownership of The Manchester Guardian was transferred to the Scott Trust in favour of protecting the paper, its independence and the journalistic principles of Charles Prestwich Scott; this assured the native vision of the paper remained. However, in 1944 following William Percival Crozier’s death, and later Aflred Powell Wadsworth in 1956, Alastair Hetherington takes lead. This had seen drastic changes in both the trademark and the papers concrete principles, hereby announcing the change from ”The Manchester Guardian” to ”The Guardian”, in favour of recognising the growing importance of national and international affairs in the newspaper. The Guardian carries a legacy of which to this day has been very well placed in the vision of their readers; which is ”about a shared sense of purpose and a commitment to understand and illuminate our times”.
Lets start with the masthead. Its intended purpose is to convey a ”renewed strength and confidence to represent the Guardian’s place and mission in these challenging times”. As a global outlet for journalism, The Guardian are very much confronted with the masses when considering key competitors such as, Financial Times, Independent and The Telegraph. To this day, it remains as one of the most popular newspapers in the United Kingdom, with a projected readership of 10.3 million individual readers monthly with the anticipated monthly reach to steadily increasing year-on-year whilst this remains inherently parallel across their online user base. (follow link for more details). When putting the demographics into perspective and the current state of which journalism is accelerating due to vast development across the global network infrastructure, there is surmountable pace that is to be kept but it is crucial in such times never to submit so blindly to the movement. This is noticeable throughout the styling of the masthead to create a bold and personable image that resonates with the user base clearly to ensure that ”the much-loved Guardian visual wit and style remain at the heart of the look”.
In addition to the well received masthead, The Guardian is now being printed in a new tabloid format alongside the re-design of its online platform to accompany both ends of the spectrum in which their readers reside. With the accumulated efforts of Creative Director, Alex Breuer a handful of Senior Editors and Designers, several months were spent formulating the platforms refreshing and inviting new look. Which to begin with, has been well accompanied by The Guardian’s new typeface, ‘Guardian Headline’ which was designed alongside the collaborative efforts of Commercial Type; who were also the creators of the original Guardian Egyptian. This is with the intent to create something that is ”simple, confident and impactful”. But it is not just functionality that has been the pivoting drive of this vast re-design, The Guardian’s predecessor to Katherine Vine, Peter Preston, passed away last week. It was in Katherine’s words,
”Peter always strived to make sure, as he put it, The Guardian had pace, impact, and what he called ”zing”, that the design team had taken the most influence from in order to eloquently capture tribute to the long lasting impression that Peter left on The Guardian, and how this new legacy has reformed the path that it steps into towards its future.
We found The Guardian’s refreshing rebrand to be a step forward in its publishing platform, but would love to know what you think. Leave a comment below, what would you change? What do you like about the new update? Debate away!