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Financial Times overhauls design for first time in nearly a decade

The Financial Times has launched its first newspaper redesign in seven years in a refresh designed to pull its print product more closely within the FT’s digital ecosystem.

The refresh will bring a higher prominence and emphasis on the FT print product as a source of analysis, while data usually presented in tables or lists will be replaced with more visual graphics and infographs.

Among the changes is the creation of a new typeface, named Financier, designed by Kris Sowersby, and a change on the page from eight columns to six.

The redesign will bring a change for advertisers as well; the title is cutting down the number of slots available and positioning the remaining slots as more premium and prominent.

Financial Times global sales director Dominic Good explained: “From advertising, we’re going to be making some changes to ad positions.

“The newspaper is a massively influential organ. People like to consume digital content but somehow when they see things in print it has added gravitas, added weight, added influence, and that goes the same for advertising. What advertising does within a newspaper is engage on an emotional level.

“That's especially true when there’s only a small amount of advertising in the book, and I’ve decluttered the book. We’ll now be selling premium page numbers three, five and seven. We’re standardising the sizes, making them more prominent and bigger in some cases, and fewer advertising positions in the book in order to provide greater standout and less clutter to provide a bit more impact to advertisers.”

Good added that the redesign would allow the print FT and digital breaking news channels to complement each other more effectively.

“It’s an opportunity for the design to really reflect the position of the newspaper in a multiplatform age,” he said.

“We spent a lot of time talking to readers to find out why they come to the newspaper and why they go online.

"What comes back is that people are getting their breaking news electronically, whether it be on websites or news bulletins.

“They’re turning to newspapers for an explanation of what that all that means, so it’s analysis versus the short, sharp bits of news. It’s an opportunity to have longer form articles and analaysis, to really set out what things mean. People prefer to read longer form analysis pieces on print. The print environment’s particularly well suited to that.

“We’ll also have a lot more infographics to explain stories. At the moment we use photographs and tables; we’ll be moving towards much greater use of graphics to tell a story.”