The Daily and Sunday Mirror are to unveil a new look this weekend backed up by a seven-figure advertising campaign.
According to publisher Trinity Mirror the new-look titles will be "cleaner and smarter, with new fonts and colour palettes" to create a look which is "both more modern and more in tune with the intelligent tabloid credentials which make the Mirror stand out from its rivals".
Mirror editor-in-chief Lloyd Embley said: "We have invested a lot of time and effort into creating a design which helps to remind readers why we are different from the rest of the tabloid market.
“Together with the brand campaign, we aim to show exactly what sets us apart.
“At the Mirror we don’t just print words, we believe in them.
"We support causes through conviction not self-interest and we are passionate about setting the news agenda.
"Of course, we still have a sense of fun and frivolity – but we have a sense of social responsibility too.
“There's one thing which really makes the Mirror stand out from the tabloid crowd, we have a brain and so do our readers. And that's the message we're driving home here.”
Trinity Mirror chief executive Simon Fox said: "This is an exciting time for the Mirror across our print and digital platforms.
“We believe that we are the news brand which best reflects the mood of the country right now and which understands the needs and desires of the hard working families of Britain.
“For the proof, you only have to look at the circulation trends and the online growth the Mirror has produced this year.
“The redesign, coupled with our brand campaign – the first for 10 years – will enable us to further build on this momentum."
The redesign for the Daily Mirror and the Sunday Mirror comes a week after The Sun changed the name of its Sunday title to The Sun on Sunday (inserting the word 'on') and revealed its new look, with Victoria Newton named as editor.
The move comes at a time when the Mirror has been consistently out-performing The Sun in terms of relative print circulation.
In August, sales of the Daily Mirror fell 3.9 per cent year on year to just over 1m a day whereas The Sun fell 9.8 per cent year on year to 2.3m. The Sunday Mirror was down 3.1 per cent to just over a million whereas The Sun on Sunday fell 10.2 per cent to 1.9m.
The Sun has recently made a major editorial investment in its Sunday edition with the recruitment of 16 journalists.
Meanwhile, Trinity Mirror is keen to attract more traffic to the free Mirror website after The Sun's move behind a paywall on 1 August.
Any marketing spend by Trinity Mirror pales beside the cost to News UK of keeping The Sun on Sunday at 60p, versus The Sunday Mirror's £1.10 cover price.
UPDATE (4.50pm): The Sun on Sunday is to raise its cover price by 10p to 70p from this weekend.
The Mirror marketing campaign will run across TV, outdoor, online, social and print platforms.
Trinity Mirror's marketing director Zoe Harris said: “Quiet Storm have devised a campaign that works harmoniously yet powerfully across all platforms. It is thought-provoking and will force people to stop and think about what the Mirror is saying. Never before has the unique positioning of the Mirror resonated more with consumers."
Trevor Robins of Quiet Storm, said: "On a personal level the Mirror is a brand I love and this is a fantastic opportunity for Quiet Storm to play an integral part in putting it back in the hearts and minds of the British public, where it belongs. It's always exciting to have courageous clients who are open to truly brave ideas of the kind we believe will help make this happen."
The Mirror experimented with a relaunch as a more serious paper in 2001, post September 11, under then editor Piers Morgan. Sales remained steady just above the 2m mark until 2003 when the paper's stance against the Iraq war led to a reader backlash and a sharp fall in circulation after the invasion had begun.