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Latin inspiration for newspaper redesign

Latin newspapers provided the inspiration for a wholesale redesign of a Welsh daily newspaper.

The team behind the new-look South Wales Echo took their lead from papers in Spain and South America while thinking about how the news section should look.

Sports magazines and sister national The Mirror also provided ideas for the Cardiff title’s makeover. The new colour scheme splits into three distinct appearances – news is green and red, sport is blue and gold, the colours of Cardiff City FC, and features are purple and bright green.

Editor Mike Hill, who joined the Trinity Mirror title 14 months ago, graphic designer Neil Cammies and assistant production head Lisa Wales also tapped into reader research during the two-month project creating the new look.

Mike said: “As a newcomer to Cardiff and South Wales, I spent time asking people about what sort of area it was and how the Echo fitted in with those views.

“The main things that emerged were what a huge change the area – and Cardiff in particular – was going through and how proud everyone was of what a great place it was to live.

“The idea behind the redesign has been to nudge it upmarket and make the paper more reflective of the area it covers. One of the key things has been to better link it in with our website,

“I asked our design team to imagine that they worked for a website that was about to launch a paper and what design cues, if any, they might be able to use in print.”

The paper now carries ‘Click On’ panels which borrow a graphic from the website to direct print readers to complementary content online.

Catch up panels have also been introduced to keep irregular readers up-to-date with running stories while the paper’s comment column has been dropped in favour of more readers’ letters and forum posts.

The redesign was backed by a marketing campaign featuring door-to-door canvassing and local advertising while Cardiff City footballer Joe Ledley and Wales rugby star Jamie Roberts made online videos.

The Echo’s own multimedia specialist Jamie Cuff also made a unique video to document the changes using footage of Echo pages through the years and featured some of the reporters who work on the paper today.

The video has also been highlighted as a great example of newspaper marketing by American journalist Charles Apple on his blog.