Saturday, 21 September 2013

Interstate helps give Mirror a fresher look

The old Mirror
... and the new

Page 6 explaining the blank pages

I woke up to a fresher Daily Mirror today ... yet another makeover in its long history. The blank pages on pages two and three caused a bit of a stir. These are a way of getting the paper talked about - and are explained in grand terms on Page 6. 

The new back
... and the old

The gimmick aside, the paper has a much cleaner look.
I was never a big fan of the excessive Spanish-influenced coloured pages, particularly on sport, or the italic black sans caps. Interestingly, the Mirror has chosen Interstate for its headlines. There are many who thought the font had its day. The typeface, designed by Tobias Frere-Jones in the 1990s, is based on the font used on American roadsigns. It was de-rigueur ten years ago, with the Mail, Telegraph and Express all using it as their main sans display font. Many regional papers also use it and by 2006 it had pushed its way into the list of the ten most used newspaper typefaces. In the corporate world Sainsbury's was one of the many companies that used it as its brand. Inevitably in the design world its prevalence quickly made it unfashionable - some said boring - and it fell out of favour almost as swiftly as it arrived. Even Sainsbury's ditched it. Today the Mirror has resurrected the font, using the full family all the way through the paper, in news, sport and features, with a slab serif as a contrast for some straplines. And it works. It's always been a clean, legible font. Its greatest quality is that it has a good count so that even with big display, the subs can write meaningful headlines. I am not sure why the Mirror goes for big caps headlines on inside pages (my thoughts on caps are here) or why sport has retained the italics. But overall today's Mirror is a neater, more modern and easier to read newspaper than it was last week.  

Editor Lloyd Embley's vision of the new Mirror is explained here ... using cats!

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