In its first comprehensive redesign in years, The Standard of Nairobi, Kenya launches its new design today. Above are shown thumbnails of prototypes and I hope to post live images as soon as I can obtain them. You can read the paper’s announcement of the news here. Meanwhile, here are a few fun facts about the project:
- I made two visits to Kenya, 10 days in September 2007 and nearly two months in spring of 2008. (Update, 2011: I later returned a half dozen times over the following two years.)
- While on site, I finalized prototypes, helped brainstorm new content and sections, conducted extensive staff training (I think I conducted 20 or so workshops!), and assisted with the creation of the design style guide. A huge emphasis: A bolder new front page to grab the attention of readers as well as politicians and other leaders in the region, as well as the revamp of an internal section, “CCI” (Crime, Courts, Investigations), a showcase for the paper’s watchdog journalists. For samples of these and other pages, visit this link.
- I also created concepts for a marketing campaign. You can view samples in this album of marketing work I have done for clients worldwide.
- The Standard is east Africa’s No. 2 paper, behind The Nation. Competition is keen, and unlike the U.S., circulation and advertising demand are growing. Strategies for online and multi-platform content distribution are being refocused as well.
- The impetus for the new design was installation of a new color printing press which became operational in late April 2008.
- A setback for the project (and the country) came in January 2008 when post-election violence rocked the nation. My trip planned for that time was delayed and we got back on track in March. (To answer a common question, yes, things are stable, with the installation of a new cabinet in late spring.)
The newspaper was redesigned from front to back, including daily features magazines inserted into the paper. (Pulse, a fashion and culture supplement, and the Financial Standard are shown above.) Congratulations to the Standard team which has been working hard for months to make their new paper a reality.
Of related interest:
- An album of dozens of pages from the Standard redesign.
- A variety of posts from my travels in Kenya and elsewhere in Africa.
- Thoughts on a particular photo taken in the Kenyan slums, and what it says about press freedom in Kenya, Africa and elsewhere.
- Others I know have committed to work in Africa for prolonged periods. Here’s a look at what drives them.
- Adjacent work in Kenya: creation of a community library in the Kibera slum, and work to advance a collective of self-taught artists.