These two words were the distillation of the brief for the redesign of the newspaper. This conclusion was reached after a lengthy (18 months) consultation with the publisher and management of the Sydney Morning Herald.
The design was motivated by the need to reflect the months of consultation and decision making about rebuilding the way the paper assembles and edits the news of the day.
The redesign process called for us to work closely with:
• editorial and executive management
• the advertising department (display & classified)
• the design and graphics departments
• the production department
• printing and distribution
• technology & programming
• market research teams
To capture the attention of new readers we improved the newspaper’s navigation by identifying sections very clearly and enforcing a hierarchy within the news styles. We built a document that can be read at a number of different levels – from ten minutes to three hours (without feeling guilty about it).
The combination of new fonts, a new baseline grid and more dynamic use of pictures and layout give the paper a more modern feel. Market research identified the growth area for the ‘Herald as a younger, intelligent readership’. This group has responded most positively to the new design.
The result of two years of careful planning and design development has achieved the publisher’s vision for a modern-traditional newspaper, and has built a rational and robust foundation for future development.
Who says designers aren’t into content?