The Globe and Mail Redesign

At a time when most newspapers are seeing steady declines in print readership, The Globe and Mail claims that their print circulation has actually grown by 5% (meanwhile, online and mobile traffic are up 20% and 500% respectively). Not content to simply stay the course, the paper saw an opportunity to push forward, introducing a major redesign and a massive investment in print.

The overhauled Globe and Mail is a smaller more manageable size, with full colour throughout (printed on “state-of-the-art German printing presses) and several pages (front cover and Life section) printed on white, glossy paper stock. The most notable layout changes are on the cover, which now leads with editorial content  above the masthead and feels more like a webpage (weekdays) or a magazine (weekends).

Much has been said already about the wisdom (or not) of this overhaul, but of course the true test will be revenues and the new design does seem to maximize potential ad sales. In addition to full colour printing and a more populist package, there’s plenty of opportunities to up-sell advertisers with glossy paper (that special front page creates space for two full-page glossy ads at the back of the section) and even boutique content – the first issue of the redesigned Globe featured a special re:Design section sponsored by Audi.

I can’t say I like everything about the new design, there’s virtually no content on the front page and much of what is there feels light, the weekend cover is just wrong and the glossy paper actually feels cheap. However, as someone who loves print and still reads at least one actual, printed newspaper a week, I can’t help cheering on the Globe’s bold vision.

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