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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