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A recent takeover of the Isle of Wight County Press by one of the UK'S biggest publishers has seen the newspaper showcase a refreshed layout and reader-friendly design.

A recent takeover of the Isle of Wight County Press by one of the UK'S biggest publishers has seen the newspaper showcase a refreshed layout and reader-friendly design.



Many a publication has come and gone on the Isle of Wight since the County Press launched in 1884. One of the country's strongest weekly local newspapers, 2017 has seen the County Press enter a new era of ownership, having been taken over by Newsquest Media Group in July.

As an Island-based design company, we thought we'd give the County Press's new look the once-over.

The Front Page

First, the Masthead has received an overhaul. The name styling is unchanged but the wording now sits uncrowded, and the additional white space is welcomed. The price and date text has also been refreshed: slightly larger and using a sans-serif font.

While the font style remains the same, the new bold full-width headliners are notably attention-grabbing and eye-catching.

More generally, the clever introduction of a five-column grid (and abandonment of the previously used seven-column grid) means that the overall page layout appears cleaner, less busy and leading stories are easier to engage with.

The Layout

This re-working of the layout follows throughout the newspaper, with a six-column grid working successfully with both justified and ranged left text.

The core elements that make up a news page: headings, body copy, credits, photos and captions have been simplified and the read is a more enjoyable experience. Information flows in an ordered hierarchy that guides the eye calmly from top to bottom, without distraction by mish-mashed heading styles and gimmicky rules or boxes.

Other tweaks we found refreshing:

  • The body copy is easier to read due to the larger font size.
  • The addition of Points of View columns with a nice splash of cyan throughout the pages.
  • Updated Business pages - now a simple 'Business' heading. Clean and professional.
  • Subtle changes to font styles and colours across the Local, Family Announcements, Service and Sports pages.

The Weekend section has also improved thanks to some very minor design changes, although we think there are still further developments to be made to the section which would help complete the County Press's visual overhaul. Hopefully we'll see more changes soon!

So what does this all mean?

Well, if the newspaper is easier on the eye and simpler for the reader to digest, audiences are more likely to engage with the publication, and this can have a direct impact on the publisher's bottom line.

Overall, we give the new look County Press a big thumbs up.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on the County Press's refreshed look. What design improvements would you like to see? Get in touch to let us know.