Magazine article Marketing

The Guardian

Magazine article Marketing

The Guardian

Article excerpt

The mouthpiece of the Left has kept up with the times via redesigns and a bold approach to digital delivery.

For a newspaper that sells only about 200,000 copies a day, The Guardian is a brand that punches above its weight. Since its launch in 1821 as a weekly Manchester newspaper, it has reflected and led liberal opinion in Britain.

The paper's rise to national prominence came under the long editorship, and ownership, of CP Scott, who held the post for 57 years from 1872 Scott's lofty principles set the tone for coverage, as well as helping to guarantee its independence. He famously wrote: 'Comment is free, but facts are sacred' - a quote that still echoes around newsrooms.

Scott's son, John, continued the tradition by establishing The Scott Trust in 1936, giving away his inheritance. The trust owns the paper and aims to guarantee its independence and liberal tradition. The Scott family retained an interest in the running of the company until 1984.

As the national influence of The Manchester Guardian grew, it dropped its home city's name from the masthead, and the editor moved to London in 1964. The paper itself followed in 1976. Its position as the voice of the Left was unassailed until 1986, when The Independent launched, drawing readers from both The Guardian and The Times.

The Guardian responded to the Indie's modern design and fresh approach with a radical redesign of its own in 1988 - David Hillman's dual-font masthead and clean interior taking the paper from the Victorian age to the 20th century. The look persisted until 2005, when the Berliner-sized Guardian launched as the UK's first full-colour national newspaper, and a Christian Schwartz-designed font was introduced to the masthead.

An early advocate of digital, the paper began developing online publication in 1994. Technology section Online took to the web in late 1995, and sites for jobs, sport and news soon followed. The Guardian Unlimited network of websites unified these in 1999.

As hard-copy sales of the newspaper have declined, multiplatform delivery has become more important to the brand. By March 2001, Guardian Unlimited had more than 2.4m unique users, making it the most popular UK newspaper website. ComScore MMX figures for June 2012 indicated 30.4m unique users internationally, making guardian.co.uk the third-most-popular newspaper website in the world.

The paper has embraced the shift in web-browsing from home computers to mobile devices by developing editions for the iPad and Kindle devices, while its free app is available for Apple, Android and Windows phones.

BRAND TIMELINE

1821: John Edward Taylor published first weekly Manchester Guardian. …

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