News & Opinion

The Guardian & Observer launch new tabloid format and digital redesign

The Guardian's new format is unveiled today (15 January), while The Observer will launch as a tabloid on Sunday 21 January.

The inaugural print run of the new tabloid coincides with a redesign of The Guardian's website and digital products. The change comes as Guardian Media Group continues to implement its three-year transformation plan with the target of GNM breaking even at operating level by April 2019. The move to tabloid printing will save several million pounds and forms a significant part of the plan towards securing GMG's long-term future.

Printing and distribution of the newly formatted Guardian and Observer newspapers is being carried out by Trinity Mirror plc. The newspapers are being printed in Scotland for the first time, leading to improved distribution for Scottish readers.

All sections and supplements of The Guardian and The Observer have been redesigned to offer quality journalism in a tabloid format. A number of editorial and design innovations and improvements have been introduced including:


Every weekday The Guardian will appear in three sections:

  • News, politics, international affairs and financial news in the main section, with sport starting on the back page
  • Journal, a new daily pull-out section of opinion and ideas, featuring writing and thinking from around the world — Guardian columnists, long reads, obituaries, letters and the cryptic crossword, and new fortnightly elements on science, economics and commentary from Europe
  • G2, The Guardian's much-loved features, arts and culture pull-out, which has had a redesign

On Saturdays, as well as the news section, Journal and a standalone Sport supplement, The Guardian will include five magazines:

  • A redesigned Weekend magazine, including some new features and columnists
  • Review, now "a beautiful and stylish books magazine"
  • The Guide
  • Travel
  • Feast – a brand-new 24 page food magazine featuring recipes and food writers, including new restaurant critic Grace Dent

The Observer has also been redesigned, and will include:

  • A redesigned Observer Magazine with new columnists and featuring personal stories, travel, fashion and photography and photo-reportage
  • The New Review, which will continue to embrace cultural and intellectual reporting, covering the arts, politics, books, science and technology


  • New Guardian and Observer mastheads, described as "confident representations of their reputation for serious, trusted journalism as quality global news brands"
  • An updated colour palette for both in print and online, using bold colours around the core sections of Guardian journalism: news, opinion, sport, arts and lifestyle
  • A new font, called 'Guardian Headline' that is "simple, confident and impactful". The new font has been created in collaboration with design agency Commercial Type, who created the original 'Guardian Egyptian'
  • Despite the smaller format, the main text font remains the same — with marginal positive changes to size, line spacing and overall typesetting to improve readability

Katharine Viner, editor-in-chief, Guardian News & Media, said: "Since we announced our plans to change format seven months ago, it's been an exhilarating period of creativity, imagination and focus, and I'm thrilled with the result: a new paper that feels bold, striking and beautiful, and still unmistakably The Guardian. It has also been a fantastic opportunity to redesign our website and apps. The new Guardian will be a space for big ideas, for debate, for clear thinking and new perspectives.

"Our move to tabloid format is a big step towards making The Guardian financially sustainable and ensuring we can continue to invest in agenda-setting journalism for generations to come."

David Pemsel, CEO, Guardian Media Group, added: "The change to tabloid format is an important milestone in our three-year transformation plan and will save several million pounds. The media sector remains challenging. However, our reader revenues are growing well, and more people are reading us than ever before — we now reach over 150 million unique browsers each month and we have over 800,000 supporters.  

"Our strategy to secure The Guardian's future is on track. By April 2018 we will have halved our operating losses in just two years, reducing them from £57 million to £25 million per year, with the goal of breaking even in 2018/19."

Alex Breuer, executive creative director, Guardian News & Media, commented: "The new design has readability at its heart, with a new headline font and a new colour palette as core elements. At the forefront is the bold new masthead, which represents The Guardian's place and purpose in today's turbulent news agenda.

"With a more flexible page layout in print and online and enhanced use of photographic journalism and graphics, our new design is simple, confident and stylish — providing readers with the best possible experience across all our platforms."

You can read more from Katharine Viner here

by Jessie Sampson 15/01/18

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