New work: The FT’s redesign

Charlie Beckett has a short interview with Ryan Bowman, the 26-year-old design phenom, that’s worth checking out over at The Polis Director’s Blog.

Bowman, who started Shakeup Media late last year, quickly landed a great gig redesigning The Financial Times, where he used to work. The paper’s global refresh hit print on Monday.

Bowman’s partner at the design firm is none other than Richard Addis, former top editor of The Express (in the UK) and The Globe and Mail (in Canada).

The fledgling firm’s basic belief system? News design needs “an alchemy made of pragmatism and invention,” and “getting it wrong is a serious block to attracting new readers and getting it right is often the key to growth.”

If the FT’s changes, which take a famously data-driven newspaper to new organizational heights, are any indicator, well, we’re inclined to be Shakeup believers here at The Blog.

The weekday edition features a new, revised masthead and color palette, and greater signposting and labeling inside the newspaper. FT Weekend now becomes the label (and brand) for a changed product, not unlike the repositioning seen by another financial publication giant in recent years (think Personal Journal). Still, the FT redesign appears to work well because it leverages the best of what the FT does and builds upon that tradition.

Look for a more thorough critique in coming days as we stack up this redesign with the redesign work unveiled by Garcia Media earlier this year at The Wall Street Journal when that paper went to a narrower size and debuted several other product changes.

Also of note: You can check out Ryan’s blog for his musings on multimedia and other things related to interaction design, print newspaper work and the convergence of cultures that’s changing the media landscape.

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