The Guardian redesigned..

I remember sitting the Adbdulhameed Shoman library 17 or 18 years ago, when it was still in Shmeisani, reading the British newspapers that were available there. This was not a usual thing for a teenager to do in Amman, mind you. But these were pre-internet, pre-satellite dish days. For a kid interested in the world, the library, the ‘Jordan Distribution Agency’ magazine store and the English language radio Jordan (and the BBC on AM radio) were pretty much all I had.

One newspaper left a strong impression on me. The Guardian. The Guardian was redesigned in the 80s in a radical manner. Their logo, composed from an italic serif ‘The’ and a bold sans-serif ‘Guardian’ in Helvetica, was radically different than the masthead of any other newspaper at the time. A classic 80s design..

The way the pages were laid out was so distinctive, different and modern: The use white space at the top of the page and above headlines, left aligned, bold headlines, unjustified text and thick horizontal separator lines..

Not that I could have described the newspaper in such a way as a pre-college student. Only later did I understand what I saw as ‘cool design’ in The Guardian..

That look stayed with me throughout the years. When I got my first job as layouter at the weekly ‘The Star’ (getting paid JD 70 a month and pulling all-nighters during the 1990/1991 Gulf War with 4 people putting out the whole paper), I slowly, and perhaps also rather amateurishly, started applying some of what I saw in The Guardian to The Star. I even redesigned the newspaper’s logo in a way that resembled the Guardian logo!

So.. Almost two decades on, The Guardian is getting radically redesigned again. How lucky we are today to live in an age where we can
“>read about the new redesign
in depth at the newspapers website.


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One Response to “The Guardian redesigned..”

  1. hatem abunimeh Says:

    I recall a few years ago the Wall Street Journal changed its design. In fact the redesign consisted of two parts only, it used to be printed in black and white only, so in the new version they added color to its pages, and moreover, it used to never put pictures in the paper, and once in a while when they decide to put a picture of some kind they would have it sketched by a cartoonist working for the paper. In its new redesign format it started putting pictures taken by digital cameras, and other colored pictures, as opposed to the previous black and white pictures—before the redesigning. As an added bonus to their readers, they added what they termed a personal Journal, it is a pull out section consisting of about 12 to 16 pages tailored for personal issues as—life, health, entertainment, travel, personal finances, and all kinds of other personal matters. I think that adding color didn’t really make any difference to the newspaper, after all, a newspaper is meant to be read and then thrown away irrespective of its appearance, we simply don’t save our daily newspapers the way we save our pictures for example, we simply don’t have an album that would fit the pages of the newspaper. In any event the addition of personal journal was a novel idea, it was a breakthrough if you will, and the reason being no matter what your profession is you are bound to find something in the personal section that would touch upon some part that will affect your life, be that a car you want to buy, a house that you want to build, or a bank loan that you need to finance a project that you are working on, the personal journal would have the information necessary to help you make an informed decision. I personally have been reading the personal section on a daily basis without fail since its inception over two years ago. You can’t imagine the volume of knowledge that I have added to my brain repository since I commenced this endeavor. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that I wish that somebody that works in the field of the press in Jordan such as yourself would come up with a Daily Journal that would address Jordanian personal matters only.

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