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November 7, 2013updated 08 Nov 2013 1:05pm

New look Independent aims for ‘elegance and sophistication’ in bid to distance title from i

By Dominic Ponsford

The Independent today unveiled its fifth new-look in as many years as part of a bid to distance the title from its cut-price stablemate i.
The red masthead brought in two years ago by then editor Chris Blackhurst is now gone. Instead, a version of the original black Independent masthead is back, but placed vertically down the left-hand side of the front page.
The new look includes a finer headline font and more emphasis inside the paper on comment and analysis.
Independent group editorial director Blackhurst yesterday told Radio 4: "What we hope to regain is how The Independent was. We've got two papers, we've got the Independent and we've got i and I think we would happily acknowledge that in recent years they've come a bit too close together.
"This is an attempt to restate The Independent. Restore it to how it was. The sideways masthead is typically independent, its different, it's bold, it's unique."
Proprietor Evgeny Lebedev, whose family bought The Independent in 2010, wrote in today's paper: "I believe this redesign revives the elegance and sophistication of the paper's first editions."
Changes to the paper include:
  • moving the editorial to page two
  • dispersing the Voices comment throughout the paper
  • a separate features section which opens with a three-page 'big read'
  • a mixture of 'news in briefs' and big news 'packages'.

Editor Amol Rajan wrote in today's edition: "I believe this new-look paper remain accessible and modern, while being smarter and more independent than it has ever been."
In August, The Independent had a paid-for circulation of just over 50,000 a day (69,388 including bulks). Stablemate i, which is priced 20p, is the only UK national newspaper currently growing its sale, with a circulation of 300,000 in September (including 65,000 bulks).
Blackhurst said that The Independent group was heading towards losses in the single figures millions which compares well with the losses of Guardian News and Media and Times Newspapers.

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