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As part of our flagship Design Economy 2018 research, we present seven case studies, which bring to life how a selection of different firms use design in practice. For an introduction to the case studies, please see here.
The Guardian – using design to re-state values
The Guardian’s recent redesign, which launched in January 2018, illustrates the business impact when design is valued.
The Guardian is a news publication of The Guardian Media Group. It has a long history of strong design culture and a highly ‘design literate’ readership.
Location: London, Sydney and New York
Size: Total approx. 1,700. Design and marketing team of around 35 across Guardian Media Group (The Guardian and The Observer).
Design discipline: Graphic communication design (print, web and mobile applications) and design thinking.
How design was used to enhance business
When pressures on the news media sector and changing reader habits necessitated a move to a standard paper size which could be outsourced, the design team approached this as an opportunity. The resultant redesign across all platforms and products became an integral part of Editor-in-Chief Katherine Viner’s work to reaffirm The Guardian’s purpose and vision as a progressive global news brand, accompanied by an advertising campaign which promised a ‘space for hope’. This also shows how design can be used across an organisation and collaboratively with different teams.
The redesign involved big, bold design changes and an extensive user testing process gave the design team confidence that they weren’t going to alienate their existing readers with the new visual identity and format.
What impact has this made?
The impact of the redesign has been significant cost savings and jumps in sales, subscriptions and donations. They acquired almost four times more print subscribers than an average week before the redesign.
Editors really value the input of design, right at the start of the process. I’ve worked in other newspapers and other media organisations where that is not so prominent. Here, you really do feel like you have that say.Alex Breuer, Creative Director
Want to know the full story? We’ve published our complete case study about how and why The Guardian uses design here.