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City Press redesign launches today

South Africans woke up Sunday morning to a new look City Press.

The Sunday English-language paper sports a new masthead, new names for various sections, a new colour palette, new typography and best of all, new content too.

Here’s how the new Page One looks.

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As the designer for City Press, I have always believed that a new design is of little consequence if it is not accompanied by new approaches to the presentation of news and stories,  new ideas, new ways of using photography and graphics, etc.

Editor-in-Chief Ferial Haffajee and her team did not disappoint.

Here’s Ferial and I with some of the day’s pages in the background.

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The new City Press is vibrant, with an exclusive story about how some party leaders are using their positions to enrich themselves leading the paper today.

There will be an emphasis on setting the media agenda, says Ferial, rather than following the pace.

The broadsheet now comes in five sections plus a tabloid lifestyle magazine which is simply called ‘7′ to signify the seventh day of the week and create a younger image.

Each of the sections open with a vertical section name that goes all the way down the left. The Opinion section has been renamed Voices, and this is followed by Business, Sports and Careers.

Here are some of the section fronts:

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The striking feature of the section fronts is the vertical column down the left. Each has a huge initial: V for Voices, B for Business and so on.

First reactions to the redesign have been exceptionally good, with papers flying off the shelves at several agencies I visited this afternoon.

Ferial was delighted that hundreds of ordinary readers had emailed her to express their pleasure with the new look.

“Brilliant. Exciting. Colourful. Clean. Readable. I love it” were some of the comments she received from the readers. She was especially pleased that many top bosses, newsmakers and prominent citizens had also expressed their appreciation for the new design.

“The response has been phenomenal,” says Ferial.

A website, The Daily Maverick (www.dailymaverick.co.za), says the competition among the Sunday papers will be racheted up a notch with City Press’ new design.

Thanks, Daily Maverick, but there is an error in your report. I was not involved in the makeover of the New Straits Times or the Sydney Morning Herald.