Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) has a long tradition for great design. In 2000, it was the first major daily newspaper in Sweden to switch from broadsheet to the tabloid format (“the most profound and daring change in 30 years of Scandinavian news design”, Ole Munk called it in Aviserat 1) and SvD’s history of winning multiple design awards in both Scandinavian and international competitions includes the title of ““>World’s Best-Designed Newspaper” by SND in 2004 as an all time high.
With this background there’s got to be high expectations to the new redesign, which the paper will launch in spring 2017.
“The printed paper is one of our main products. Together with the digital channels it fills an important function, both as a bearer of our journalism and as an important channel for our advertisers. It’s often the bridge into the digital world of news,” says Gunilla Asker, CEO of SvD.
It’s been nearly four years since SvD gave the printed issue a facelift, and a lot has happened since then, not least digitally, affecting how readers and advertisers use the product and how it is produced in the newsroom.
The identity issue
“With the new paper we want to create a packaged and pronounced feel, a higher contrast between the elements. We also want to strengthen what’s unique for SvD – our colours, symbols and typography. And of course, connect the identity with the one on SvD.se and of our other digital products,” says editor-in-chief Fredric Karén.
Anna Thurfjell, Creative Director at SVD from 2003 to 2013, and responsible for major redesigns in 2004 and 2009, on both occasions stressed the fact that typography is key to a succesful newspaper design. In an interview about the 2009 redesign, she described the new look as “a tribute to text” – because the readers really want to read: “It’s important that the design is not there for its own sake. Opening the SvD, the readers should not think, ‘Aha, what a lot of design’. They should be lured into reading,” she said.
A challenge, but fun
Whether these thoughts will be a guideline also for the next incarnation of SvD remains to be seen when the design launches in 2017. Design should not be the end target in itself, but a means to carry the message, and the need to lure people into reading – especially on paper – is still there.
For the 2017 version of the paper, SvD has hired design consultant Ebba Bonde to work on the project. She is experienced from both daily news and magazines. For the last five years Ebba Bonde has worked as an AD at Fokus and has a unique knowledge and experience of packaging news in a high tempo.
“I see this as a very modern journalistic project. The demands are constantly higher to pack content in a more distinct and faster way. It is a challenge that is incredibly fun to take on together with the staff of Svenska Dagbladet,” says Ebba Bonde.
Svenska Dagbladet has for a long time had its focus on its successful site, relaunched in May 2015, built on a new CMS and with an algorithm based front page.
“It’s very valuable that we now can take all our digital learnings to the paper. We know a lot more about our readers now in all channels and can create a product that is much more custom fitted for their needs and wishes,” says Linda Häggström, Design Lead on SvD.
Svenska Dagbladet: A Timeline
1884 – 18 Dec. First Issue of Svenska Dagbladet
1897 – New nameplate – set in Garamond
1959 – Karl-Eric Forsberg, Sweden’s best known typeface designer designs a typeface for Svenska Dagbladets title-piece and page folio, the typeface is named Forsberg. This letterdesign is still used today
1997 – Redesign by Roger Black. Poynter Old Style replaces Times SvD as body text font
2000 – SvD changes format from broadsheet to tabloid – as the first of the major daily newspapers in Sweden. The redesign was made by Michael Jones at Roger Black design studio, US
2001 – Redesign by Rikard Frank, Creative Director at SvD and Anna Thurfjell (hired Graphic Designer)
2004 – After one year of development work, SvD launches the three-sectioned newspaper: Nyheter, Näringsliv & Kultur (News, Business & Culture), designed by SvD Creative Director Anna W Thurfjell. The nameplate is adjusted for the tabloid format by Örjan Nordling
2004 – SvD is named “World’s Best Designed Newspaper™” by SND, Society for News Design
2006 – A new concept for Sundays is introduced: New supplements: N (Näringsliv) and K (Kultur)
2008 – Print award: “European Newspaper of the year”, given by European Newspaper Award, Germany
2009 – Redesign of the whole newspaper by Anna Thurfjell. A new typeface, Sueca, designed especially for SvD by Mário Feliciano is introduced *)
2011 – SvD first in Europe with their own customized typeface ’Sueca’ at SvD.se. For this project Anna Thurfjell collaborates with Mark Porter, UK
2012 – SvD winns the “Best in show” award, given by SND for a cover: “Terrorattack against Utøya, Norway”
2013 – Redesign of the paper by Anna Thurfjell, with help from Mark Porter. SvD is now in two sections on weekdays (news and business) with a third section, KULTUR, on Sundays
2015 – A new SvD.se is launched with a new CMS and with an algorithm based front page
2017 – The new design by Ebba Bonde, presently in the works, will launch