they relaunched the newspaper this week in a smaller, reformatted, rejigged version. the size is good. instead of turning into a tabloid it's something halfway btw a tabloid and a broadsheet they call a 'Berliner', which some european papers apparently use, it's like 'le monde' but i think narrower? it's good, it fits in your bag.
the new typeface is horrible, and it's a shame because the old one was such a classic. one of the few things about it that were both good and distinctive, apart from its built in leftwing bias. it added a certain deadpan to the puns in the headlines. the new one is too informal for a paper, too of the moment to be classic. they mix in the bold and normal versions everywhere which is quite ugly. they would have been better off using upper case.
looking at the front page i can only assume they were a. on drugs, or worse, b. 'trying to appeal to a younger audience' or both. the masthead says 'theguardian' in lower case, in blue letters on a blue (blue?) background. there are more smaller text boxes and stories than there used to be and it looks very cluttered. in general they seem to have seen smaller pages as a chance to stuff in more bits and bobs everywhere, i'm not quite sure why. the times looked a bit like this after they turned into a tabloid.
unlike the times though, it doesn't seem to have been dumbed down much (yet). they've added 2 extra pages of comment (but who has time to read that anyway) and a big centrefold picture in the middle which is very very cool. memorable this week were some soldiers rioting in n. ireland, the alison lapper sculpture in a warehouse somewhere, and all the world's leaders at the un.
the sub-tabloid or 'half-berliner' g2 supplement is quite alright, except it has staples in which i hate. i like to take my newspaper apart! (i also liked to obsessively refold the centre fold to make every page line up evenly, which i won't be able/have to do anymore). the paper is kind of cheap and crappy and shiny. the saturday edition is extremely ugly, there are 12 sections which all look exactly the same except the magazine, which is bigger than all of them.
oh yeah and they got rid of doonesbury! until protesters started blockading motorways and oil refineries to get them to bring it back, some other guardian readers in n. ireland started a riot, etc. so it was back on friday with a whole week's worth of strips.