Belfast Telegraph

What do you think of your new, made over Belfast Telegraph?

During the past week or so, the Belfast Telegraph has had a redesign. Not one of those heavy makeovers that have readers sputtering into their morning coffee, then penning indignant missives to the editor.

No, this was a "lifting", as it's known in the trade - a lighter makeover, a spruce-up and a tidy-up, with a few changes that you will have noticed and many more that you may not have.

The Editor, Gail Walker, along with newspaper designer Louis Jebb and Belfast Telegraph production editor Gary Law, have freshened the paper up from cover to cover.

As Louis says: "Every now and then, a house needs a lick of paint, a spring clean. Many of us go through these processes to make where we live more inviting for our families, friends and visitors. So it is with a newspaper. Especially one as long-established as the Belfast Telegraph."

The reason for this? To showcase content even better, to help readers navigate their way throughout the newspaper and to add a change of pace across the pages.

So what has changed? Well, the Editor wanted more white space to let stories 'breathe' - to give them better projection on a page, but not in a tabloid, in-your-face way.

She also wanted to make the paper easier to navigate, with new colour-coding to make readers almost subliminally aware of what section they are in.

The page liveries were smartened up using the Apex sans serif font. For those who don't know, by the way, the terms serif and sans-serif are rather a big deal in typography.

Serifs are small projections, or flourishes, on the end of the strokes that form the basis of letters - for example, in the typeface you are reading.

This is common in print and it is thought they emerged because they made it easier to read heavy blocks of type because the brain can more quickly recognise individual letters with their aid.

Sans-serif type is used in print, too, but more commonly on digital devices, partly for reasons of clarity, because screens - even the best - are no match for print displays and so require "cleaner" letters.

If you're a real design nerd, the "fresh, optimistic" colours for each of the main sections are - Aegean blue (with a touch of canary yellow and sapphire) for News and Comment pages; rose pink and peach blossom for the Life section; and sapphire and Fuji red for Sport.

Regarding the main typefaces, sustained use is made of a modern condensed sans-serif font, Flama Condensed, throughout the paper. A condensed (or narrow) font gives a higher character and word count.

The main headline typeface, a serif font called Century Expanded, retains a strong news page presence across the product, and the body text, called News Miller, has been unchanged.

The structure of the paper remains largely the same, but some alterations were made to give a of pace.

From Monday to Friday, for example, there are two Life, or features, pages in the middle of the run of news pages. The leader is now found in the Viewpoint and Comment section, which replaces the section previously called DebateNI.

The Letters page faces the Puzzles page in a new 'coffee break' spread, which is better designed and does, we hope, a better job of keeping your brain stimulated.

Hopefully, you will like the makeover. Do let us know what you think.

Belfast Telegraph

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