Independent launches 20p spin-off paper 'i'

The Independent has today launched a bite-sized national newspaper "designed for people with busy, modern lives".

The 56-page paper, named i, costs 20p and has been billed as "not only a new paper, but a new kind of paper" by the Independent.

Weighing in at 14 pages lighter and 80p cheaper than the full Independent, the tabloid-sized 'i' offers a condensed version of the day's news from its parent paper.

Its publishers hope it will strike a chord with time-poor commuters and younger readers who have become accustomed to getting their news in short bursts online.

It is the first national daily newspaper to launch since the Independent's own arrival in 1986. But it has a very different look and feel to both the Independent and most daily titles.

In what smacks as a nod to the internet age, pages two and three are given over to something called 'The News Matrix', a busy spread containing 15 stories in short chunks.

After that the paper settles into a more familiar format but the stories remain noticeably smaller in size compared to the full Independent.

In a leader introducing the paper, its editor-in-chief Simon Kelner writes: "Colourful and accessible, concise and intelligent, it’s your essential daily briefing. Packed with news, views, entertainment, business and sport, but presented for rapid consumption, it’s the perfect way for an intelligent person to start today – and at a much more affordable price than a cappuccino.”

It is understood 400,000 copies of i are being published today before the paper settles into a circulation of 250,000-280,000 copies.

The launch is being backed by a heavyweight outdoor campaign created by Trevor Beattie's BMB agency. Posters carry the slogan, "'i' is, are you?" which older readers will recognise as a riff on the Independent's own launch campaign.

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