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Mercury gets a birthday makeover

The Weston & Somerset Mercury is celebrating its 160th anniversary with the unveiling of a new look.

Launched as The Westonian on April 1, 1843, the weekly title now has a new masthead, with its familiar red banner being ditched in favour of black – although a splash of red has been incorporated.

The Archant title has also increased in size by eight pages as all the news has now been incorporated into one edition and the sports section has been increased to 10 pages.

Managing editor Judi Kisiel said: “We felt the Mercury needed a new lease of life. It had begun to look a little tired and was losing its identity slightly.

“The new paper is bigger, brighter and much more reader friendly. We are delighted with the results and are confident our readers will like what we’ve done.”

Every font has also been changed, with new typefaces Clarion and Helvetica Condensed now used for body text, versions of Utopia for news headlines, Fenice for features and entertainment pages and Impact on the sports pages.

There is also now a common theme with the headings which run throughout the paper – all carrying fonts from the Franklin Gothic family.

Senior Mercury staff got together with former Northern Echo editor Peter sands, who runs the Editorial Centre in Hastings, for a two-day seminar which provided much of the inspiration for the new look.

The redesign is the latest in a long line of changes in the history of the paper, which has undergone several name changes and a conversion from broadsheet to tabloid format.

When it was launched in 1843 it was Weston’s first newspaper, and was published monthly, consisting of four small pages, before soon becoming a four-page broadsheet.

In 1845 the paper’s pagination grew again, when it became the Westonian and Somerset Mercury. A few years later it began publishing weekly.

After several more name changes, it became the Weston & Somerset Mercury and in 1988 it changed from broadsheet to tabloid format.

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