Let’s Talk Tabloids
The Guardian debuted its new tabloid format last Monday, and the Observer followed yesterday. Aside from the format downsizing, The Guardian has redesigned its masthead, added a new section (‘Journal’) and upgraded to a larger G2. It has come to the dark side.
Personally, I’m not so keen on the new masthead. It was once (read: 9 days ago) easy to spot the blue Guardian in a line-up of newspapers at WHSmith, now it’ll take me a second or two longer. The masthead and preview info take up the top third of the front page, which steals some of the focus from the main headline. And well… (whispers) it looks a little bit like the Standard.
My favourite part about the new Guardian is the Journal section. This covers comment features, obituaries and ‘the briefing’ (an explanation of a topic you-didn’t-know-you-needed-to-know-about-until-you-knew-about-it).
For advertisers, there are no front page strips or back cover spaces on weekdays (at least for now).
Redesigns (unfortunately) are no longer about selling more copies – they’re about saving more money. Outsourcing their printing to Trinity Mirror will save The Guardian millions of pounds, something necessary with last year’s loss of £38m. Ultimately this change isn’t groundbreaking – non-Guardian readers won’t be rushing out to grab a copy. However, the overall consensus from their loyal readers is positive.
Katherine Viner, editor in chief of Guardian News & Media said:
“Our move to tabloid format is a big step towards making The Guardian financially sustainable and ensuring we can continue to invest in agenda-setting journalism for generations to come.”
The Observer, not for the first time, felt a bit like an afterthought (yes, just like it is in this blog). GMG commented far less about its redesign – except for announcing some new columnists in the magazine. The first tabloid issue of The Observer didn’t even have a letter from the editor about it! Considering that approx. 60% of Observer readers don’t read The Guardian, this was definitely an oversight.
Saviour of The Guardian?
Only time will tell.
Media & Marketing Manager
More views from some of the TCS team:
Whilst I’m far too old to be a Guardian reader the format looks very professional and gives the impression that it has been around for sometime!
Ich bin nicht ein Berliner.
Disappointed, expected something less generic from GMG. The Times in disguise…?
Long gone are the days where I need to be an expert in advanced origami to read my daily rag, huzzah! As long as content isn’t compromised I’ll gladly welcome the change. The new colour and format will hopefully encourage a new generation of young readers to experience the joys of reading a real paper – inky fingers and all.
Who cares what the size is? It’s what’s inside that counts.