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'Berliner' format Guardian debuts

LONDON, England -- The Guardian newspaper published its first full-color, trimmed-down edition Monday, the third British broadsheet to switch to a smaller format.

The midsize "Berliner" format -- midway between tabloid and broadsheet -- rolled off the company's £50 million new presses as part of an £80 million redesign.

France's Le Monde newspaper also uses the "Berliner" format, with pages 12.4 inches by 18.5 inches (31.5 cm by 47 cm).

Two other British broadsheets facing stiff competition in a shrinking market -- The Times and The Independent -- already have switched to a smaller tabloid format.

In a front-page editorial, Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger said the format change "is in response to unambiguous research which shows that readers increasingly find broadsheet newspapers difficult to handle in many everyday situations, including commuting to work."

"To those hundreds of thousands of readers who have stayed with us throughout -- thank you for your loyalty," he said

"To the few who found the old broadsheet paper forbidding or inconvenient -- welcome back. To new readers who may have been intrigued enough by the Berliner to buy it for the first time in a while -- or possibly ever -- welcome too. We hope the Guardian may surprise you."

As part of the redesign, the bold masthead which had topped the paper since 1988 was replaced by a softer, three-tone blue-and-white logo. Typefaces, headlines and layout were changed throughout.

The paper's sport pages were given their own 12-page section, and the G2 supplement -- formerly printed in tabloid format -- has become a smaller, stapled news magazine. The paper also became the first UK national to be printed exclusively in full color.

The Guardian, with average Monday-Saturday circulation of 358,000 in July, trails the broadsheet Daily Telegraph (912,000) and The Times (698,000), The Associated Press reported.

In 1995, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, the averages were 1.02 million for The Daily Telegraph, 658,000 for The Times and 397,000 for The Guardian, AP said.

Date posted: September 12, 2005 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 54