Letters Special: The Independent Redesign

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Have you any idea what turmoil you have caused in my daily life? First, you publish Network on a Monday, which means writing to my son and daughter-in-law, to send it on to them, on a Monday instead of a Tuesday.

Today (9 June), chaos followed turmoil, for both me and my neighbours. So wrapped up was I in reading my Independent that I lost track of time. This led my friendly neighbour to be so concerned because I had neither pulled back my curtains nor taken in the milk by 9.40am that he knocked on my door to see if I was still alive.

How will I fit in my day's work of letter-writing, consultation paper responses, minute writing for voluntary organisations and attendance at public meetings if you intend to continue to produce a paper that is so physically easy to read that I will study it all. I can even read the adverts!


Chelmsford, Essex

Sir: Hurrah, hurrah! You have got rid of my bete noire: the tabloid sections, which were such an eyesore. The presentation now is traditional, although the design is in the modern style. It makes your newspaper a joy to read. No need to buy The Times!


London N1

Sir: I have previously been delighted by redesigns of The Independent. However, the new offering is something of a backward step. The new fount gives a "heavy" feel to the paper, with a significant reduction in white space. Heavy divider lines between some columns are also overdone.

However, the quality of writing and writers has remained, it's just a little harder to read!



Sir: At first glance the new typefaces give The Independent a look very similar to the Telegraph. As one of the reasons I buy this paper is that it is not the Telegraph, I hope this is where such comparisons will begin and end, although I dare say you would quite like their sales.


Newcastle upon Tyne

Sir: Overall, your revamp appears excellent and far superior to the former model. However, I would suggest that the format of the third page of the review section has been copied from the Leeds Student Newspaper's Comment pages. The position of the cartoon directly mirrors its situation in ours. I wonder if as well as pitching your newspaper in direct competition to The Times and The Guardian you are attempting to steal our readers too.


Deputy Editor

Leeds Student Newspaper


Sir: Church appointments? Changing of the Guard? Did I pick up the Telegraph by mistake? Ah no; here's a terrible graphic on the Pandora column! It must The Independent.

Another month, another redesign (quite nice, though). How long will this one last?


London SE13

Sir: When I read the paper today (9 June), I had the same feeling as when I opened your paper for the first time in 1986. You must have done something right! The broadsheet format of the second section a definite plus.


London EC1

Sir: We enjoyed the added extra puzzle of devising the grid to fit yesterdays (9 June) Concise Crossword clues. It made a nice extension to coffee break. However, coffee break would have run into lunchtime had we tried to devise both the clues and the answers to fit the grid that you published. We think, today, you printed the wrong correction and it should have been the grid not the clues and answers. Perhaps you could print another correction.




Teddington, Middlesex

Sir: It really annoys me each time The Independent's layout is revamped because you should be spending more of your efforts to get the actual printing process perfected, rather than altering the founts regularly. My copies are always marred by serious vertical creases on the inside pages. I have written to you before about this but the problem still remains and means some columns are unreadable at times.


Fareham, Hampshire

Sir: Congratulations on the improvements to The Independent, both in content and in presentation. All that is required now is for it to famously become the first newspaper to famously stop saying "famous" when "well- known" is meant.


London N12

Sir: I think your new look is fabulous, but I have one small criticism: "Foreign News" sounds mildly xenophobic - can you not call it "World News", or "International News" instead?


London SW1

Sir: What a wonderful surprise to open, and to delve into, today's (9 June) issue of the paper. Most hearty congratulations are due to all who have brought this rebuilt paper to fruition. I am most thankful to have stayed with The Independent through the bad days, not without misgivings at times.

But that is water under the bridge. My most profound hope is that this development can be kept going. A certain tycoon won't like it. The problem is going to be to find the time to do justice to it!


Leyburn, North Yorkshire

Sir: Congratulations on the new design. It conveys an impression of a newspaper that is packed with informative, solid journalism. None of your rivals has divided their content between two sections as sensibly. I also like the new features such as Monitor and Historical Notes, and the expanded space for obituaries is a real treat. After drifting through all the broadsheets in recent years, it has been some time since I felt so comfortable with my daily paper.


London SE27

Sir: I don't know if anybody thought about the consequences of making the review section broadsheet size. It is now almost impossible to read while travelling on public transport in London. Opening a broadsheet newspaper while on the Tube invariably involves punching somebody in the face or suffocating them with a face full of newsprint.

The review section used to be quite a pleasant read. Now for some reason all the grimmest sections of the paper - obituaries, editorial comment etc - seem to be sitting beside articles on the arts and living.

There must be a better way to attract new readers than by going all Victorian.


London SW11

Sir: You have returned The Independent, to being a newspaper instead of a lifestyle rag.

It seems that going back to basics does not always end in failure! Thank you for giving me back a paper I have read since issue two!


London SW6