Wednesday 12 October 2011

Indy redesign: What the readers think of it so far

The Independent carries some letters today about its redesign which has given the paper a dramatic new masthead.

Readers are notoriously conservative when it comes to a new look for their newspaper and a number on the letters' page and online are mourning the passing of the old comment and features section, The Viewspaper, which has been scrapped.

Dean Hill from Walsall welcomes the changes. He writes: "Chris Blackhurst has made one of the most significant decisions in the newspaper's 25-year history, to rebrand The Independent as a dynamic, sharper, easier-to-access paper to compete with its rivals...The Independent should be given a pat on the back; it is fresher, easier to read, sharper, and more enjoyable.

"It is like a mix between Times and Telegraph (my initial reaction). It was the first newspaper I noticed with its fabulous bold header and very readable text."

But Rae Allton of Nottingham states: "Have you not heard the phrase, 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it'? If I wanted a paper that shouted at me I wouldn't buy the Independent. We readers are intelligent enough not to need a paper that is 'more readable'. The fonts were already excellent and are now dumbed down. As to the Viewspaper; it was the section that I reached for first in the morning."

Paula Jones, of London, can see good and bad in the changes: "Well, losing the Viewspaper is still a 'miss'' but the new fonts and 'signposting' really are good. Much easier to read, and yes, overall, more accessible. Which I admit might to some small extent negate the ill-effects of losing a separate section."

Online, other readers are saying how much they miss the Viewspaper.

J Fletcher posts: "I mourn the loss of the Viewspaper - it really was unique and certainly never entered a ghetto in our household. The new typeface is, in my opinion, deplorable. It makes the paper look like a tabloid of 20 years ago. I would be grateful if Mr Blackhurst could explain to me exactly what he means by the statement that 'none of your favourite components have been discarded – they are still there'. Firstly, the Viewspaper was my favourite component."

And Gordon Davidson complains: "My only comment at the moment relates to the lack of space provided for the Sudoko puzzle. The squares need to be larger to allow alternative letter options to be placed in the corners when trying to work out the correct order."


Michael Cross said...

New titlepiece, surely? Or has the fight been lost on that one?

Jon Slattery said...


I know, I know. We used to get letters about this all the time at Press Gazette.

A masthead is, I think technically, the list of editorial staff, publisher, ad rates etc, carried by newspapers and magazines.

It's just that most (at least a lot of) people think it's the title on top of the newspaper.

Apparently on websites the titlepiece is known as the masthead.

Let's call the whole thing off.

Michael Cross said...

Yes titlepiece was one of those terms hot metal printers would use to pull rank on nervous stone subs.
Probably time for it to be pensioned off.
Shame, though.