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Format and design

The Independent was originally published as a broadsheet in a series of celebrated designs. The final version was designed by Carroll, Dempsey and Thirkell following a commission by Nicholas Garland who, along with Alexander Chancellor was unhappy with designs produced by Raymond Hawkey and Michael McGuiness. At the time on seeing the dummies Chancellor said "I thought we were joining a serious paper." The first edition was designed and implemented by Michael Crozier who was Executive Editor, Design and Picture, from pre-launch in 1986-1994.

From September 2003 it was produced in both broadsheet and tabloid versions, with the same content in each. The tabloid edition was termed "compact" to distance itself from the more sensationalist reporting style usually associated with "tabloid" newspapers in the UK.<ref name="Bus Week">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> After launching in the London area and subsequently North West England,<ref name="Indy northwest">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> the smaller format appeared gradually throughout the UK. Soon afterwards Rupert Murdoch's Times followed suit and introduced its own tabloid version.<ref name="Brand Rep">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> Prior to these changes, The Independent had a daily circulation of around 217,500, the lowest of any major national British daily, climbing to claim a 15% rise by March 2004 (to 250,000). Throughout much of 2006, circulation stagnated at a quarter of a million. On 14 May 2004, The Independent produced its last weekday broadsheet, having stopped producing a Saturday broadsheet edition in January. The Independent on Sunday published its last simultaneous broadsheet on 9 October 2005, and has since followed a compact design.

On 12 April 2005, The Independent redesigned its layout to a more European feel, similar to France's Libération. The redesign was carried out by a Barcelona-based design studio. The weekday second section was subsumed within the main paper, double-page feature articles became common in the main news pages, and there were revisions to front and back covers.<ref name="Guard redesign">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> A new second section, Extra, was introduced on 25 April 2006. It is similar to The Guardian's G2 and The Times' Times2, containing features, reportage and games, including sudoku. In June 2007 The Independent on Sunday consolidated its content into a news section which included sports and business, and a magazine focusing on life and culture.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> On 23 September 2008 the main newspaper became full-colour and "Extra" was replaced by a "Independent Life Supplement" focusing on different themes each day.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref>

Three weeks after the acquisition of the paper by Alexander Lebedev and Evgeny Lebedev in 2010, the paper was relaunched with another redesign on 20 April. The new format featured smaller headlines and a new pullout "Viewspaper" section, which contained the paper's comment and feature articles.<ref name="pgazette">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> From 26 October 2010, the same day as its sister paper i was launched, The Independent started to be printed on slightly thicker paper than before and ceased to be full-colour throughout, with many photographs and pictures (though none of those used in adverts) being printed in black and white only. On 11 October 2011, The Independent unveiled yet another new look, featuring a red, sans-serif masthead. In November 2013 this was again changed for a vertical masthead in black. It also had new custom fonts and the whole newspaper was overhauled.

Front pages

Following the 2003 switch in format, The Independent became known for its unorthodox and campaigning front pages, which frequently relied on images, graphics or lists rather than traditional headlines and written news content. For example, following the Kashmir earthquake in 2005 it used its front page to urge its readers to donate to its appeal fund, and following the publication of the Hutton Report into the death of British government scientist David Kelly, its front page simply carried the word "Whitewash?".<ref name="PR week">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> In 2003 the paper's editor, Simon Kelner, was named "Editor of the Year" at the "What the Papers Say" awards, partly in recognition of, according to the judges, his "often arresting and imaginative front-page designs".<ref name="Indy award">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> In 2008 however, as he was stepping down as editor, he stated that it was possible to "overdo the formula" and that the style of the paper's front pages perhaps needed "reinvention".<ref name="Guard Kelner">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref>

Under the former editorship of Chris Blackhurst, the campaigning, poster-style front pages were scaled back in favour of more conventional news stories.

Sections

The weekday, Saturday and Sunday editions of The Independent all include supplements and pull-out subsections –

Daily Monday to Friday The Independent

  • Monday Sport: A weekly pull-out containing reports of the previous weekend's sporting events.

Saturday's The Independent

  • Saturday Sport: A weekly pull-out containing reports looking ahead to the weekend's sporting events.
  • Radar: A compact, primarily listings magazine, including television schedules, film and DVD reviews and events listings for the coming week. It also includes a round-up of the "50 best" items in a particular category. For example, over the Christmas period there are weekly supplements of 'Gifts for him' and 'Gifts for her'
  • Traveller: Contains travel articles, advertisements etc.
  • The Independent Magazine: A features magazine including sections on food, interiors, fashion etc.

The Independent on Sunday

  • Sport: A weekly pull-out containing reports of Saturday's sporting events.
  • The New Review: A features magazine
  • Rainbow List An annually-updated list, first published in 2000, then as the Pink List, of the most famous and influential people who have declared themselves lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation
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Online presence

On 23 January 2008, The Independent relaunched its online edition, www.independent.co.uk.<ref>"Welcome to The Independent's new website". The Independent (web only). 23 January 2008.</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> The relaunched site introduced a new look, better access to the blog service, priority on image and video content and additional areas of the site including art, architecture, fashion, gadgets and health. The paper launched Podcast programmes such as The Independent Music Radio Show, The Independent Travel Guides, The Independent Sailing Podcasts, and The Independent Video Travel Guides. Since 2009, the website has carried short video news bulletins provided by the Al Jazeera English news channel.<ref name="Guard al Jazeera">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref>

In 2014, The Independent launched a sister website i100,<ref>http://i100.independent.co.uk/</ref> a "shareable" journalism site with similarities to Reddit and Upworthy.<ref>http://www.journalism.co.uk/news/-not-just-another-newspaper-website-why-the-independent-launched-i100/s2/a557405/</ref>


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