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Major German newspaper shows off new look with front-page fotos

BERLIN: Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, one of Europe's most conservative daily newspapers when it comes to design, has brightened its front page by adding photographs and dropping the last vestiges of its antiquated typeface.

The paper said the changes were a concession to a more hurried age in which readers had less time to navigate through the newspaper, and fewer people found time for regular reading.

But it said it wasn't giving up its serious approach: "Much is different, but the basic approach remains, and this newspaper will in the future still not be like any other," it said on its web site.

The newspaper, which is majority-owned by the FAZIT Foundation, had run only 33 photos on page one since its founding in 1949. And its front-page commentary columns persisted in using headlines with the old Fraktur script, a hoary blackletter typeface that was broadly used until the early 20th Century but now has nearly disappeared except for newspaper names and pub signs.

The replacement, however, is hardly radical: Times New Roman Condensed Bold, based on a font invented for the London "Times" in the 1920s, the paper said.

In addition, the front page has more white space around the articles, although the basic approach is unchanged: main article up top, teasers on what is inside running down the left, and brief news items below that referring to longer articles inside. The paper remains a serious read, stuffed with long articles about politics, business, culture and sports.

"The new format is generally fresher and more inviting, said co-publisher Werner D'Inka. It will make it easier for readers to orient themselves quickly."

Other newspapers have gone to handier and more readable formats in recent years, with Die Welt and Britain's The Independent appearing in smaller tabloid formats more convenient for reading on the go.

Date posted: October 8, 2007 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 38