The Independent Masthead

The Independent re-design

Ooh a vertical masthead! The Independent has had a re-design and the masthead now runs down the closed edge of the paper.

I’m thinking out loud here really, but I think I like the Independent’s re-design.

The set of typefaces that go through the paper and all the magazines are beautiful. They’ve been designed by Henrik Kubel of A2-Type, who happens also to have designed New Rail Alphabet typeface (the typeface we use throughout all of our materials).1

The most interesting thing, I think, though, is the new Independent has a vertical masthead. I’m not sure any other newspaper has one of these, which makes it quite distinctive. We were talking about it in the Studio and we started to wonder why they’d done it. How would work on a newspaper stand or in a newsagents? We put it on the floor and thought about how it would line up in its natural environment - alongside other newspapers:

The vertical masthead runs down the left hand side of the cover – its closed edge.

The size of the paper is a ‘compact’ – it looks like a broadsheet that has been folded – so it has the required seriousness.

If the newsagent places it next to the Telegraph, The Sunday Times or the FT (the only remaining broadsheets) with those papers having their open edges at the top, I think that contrast will work really well with the Independent’s masthead along the bottom edge.

If placed more conventionally, like the tabloids for example, it poses a bit of a problem on a traditional newsstand (see the main image). Which must be why the red eagle is there.

1 I wrote about New Rail Alphabet recently, as it happens.

Placed more conventionally, like the tabloids for example, it poses a bit of a problem. Which must be why the red eagle is there.

Scott Poulson