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Masthead change: Readers don’t really mind

I have said it many times before, but the relaunch of Rapport proves it yet again – readers don’t mind at all if you change your masthead.

This is the third week of the relaunch of the Sunday Afrikaans paper in South Africa, and so far, not one reader has complained about the new masthead.

Here’s the old masthead (left) compared to the new:

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I used Girard as the typeface for the masthead and all the section titles.

I  have changed mastheads at all the papers I redesigned, and at every one of them, readers have not minded at all.

At Malayala Manorama, the world’s biggest vernacular language paper in India, I even made some changes to the traditional pair of elephants between the names. At Mid Day in Mumbai, the masthead was changed completely into a squarish one.  I even removed the hyphen between Mid and Day and a drawing of the sun on the old name.

In the state of Punjab in northern India, I changed the masthead of Punjab Kesari significantly and none of its more than 800,000 subscribers complained.

At Kuensel in Bhutan, I used a completely different typeface and got an artist to redraw the traditional dragon. Here’s the old and new compared.

Look at the dragon in particular. On the left you will see that there is a lot of detail in the dragon. The new one has fewer lines and the dragon scales have been removed.

Bhutanese love their dragons and even there, no one complained.

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In fact, at most newspapers, the only people who think mastheads should not be changed are usually journalists who have been around for a long time. These are the old-school journalists who insist on the sanctity of mastheads.

How wrong they are! And have proven to be the case by millions of readers!