A new design for Smaalands-Tidningen

by Ole Munk; published 17 March 2010
Click on an image to enlarge

Wednesday 17 March, the citizens of the so-called ”Hills of Smaaland” – the home of Emil from Loenneberga and several other Astrid Lindgren characters – woke up to find their morning paper had changed.

However, even though Smaalands-Tidningen (with a circulation of 31,000 copies and 88,000 daily readers) is acting on a scene completely dominated by tabloid – or ”compact” – newspapers, this 111-year old local daily has chosen to stick to the broadsheet format as it has since 1993 when it changed from berliner (for production reasons).

Going against the stream is not untypical of the Hallpressen Newspaper Corporation and their titles. An almost complete absence from the web – all you will find are contact info and a short bio – is another example, and a third one is upgrading QuarkXPress to version 8 instead of abandoning this once ubiquitous layout application for Adobe InDesign.

The dominant graphic feature of the new design is a grey-turquoise box with a curve in (or, rather, instead of) one corner. The shape, which was in fact inspired by an old Volvo – not an uncommon vehicle around here – was quickly named ”the canoe” (another quite popular means of transportation in this land of at least ten thousand lakes).
Quite logically, the ”canoe” is used mainly for navigation elements, e g section names.

Ribergaard & Munk’s redesign of Smaalands-Tidningen will be accompanying new editorial initiatives such as an expanded Culture & Entertainment coverage and two daily Family & People pages instead of one.

We worked with project manager AnnaKarin Lith and copy editors Greger Loof/Anders Johansson who took care of implementing the design principles into the NewsPilot editorial system. Prior to the actual redesign, Greger and Anders had created a number of template pages with interchangeable story modules in order to facilitate the editorial process.

Greta and Flama form the new typography. A typeface combination which, as we realized half way through the design process, had already been ”taken” by The Sunday Times. However, as these two newspapers have few readers in common, we do not see this as a major problem …

The Egyptian nameplate, as old as the newspaper itself, was brushed up by Ole Munk.
Have a closer look at it here.