The project to redesign and relaunch the Sunday Independent for new owner Peter Masters faced a very tight schedule. And there were some big issues to tackle before the go-live date, Sunday September 10.
Because this was not just about creating a fresh, modern look for the West Country’s iconic Sunday paper, which would be a challenge in itself.
This project involved several fundamental – and controversial – changes. First was a name change, from Sunday Independent to simply Independent. Second, we would be turning the paper inside out, so that its main section, a monster package of sport, for which it was best known and admired, would move from the outside of the book to the centre and the news and features package would go from the centre of the book to the outside. And third, the title’s commercial strategy would shift from a heavily editionalised structure serving local advertisers to one that would target regional businesses who would value the whole of the new Independent’s audience, which covered five counties.
On top of this, we would introduce new content platforms that might attract advertisers keen to reach the paper’s weekend readership. These included pages for homes, gardens and antiques.