Because the Guardian only provides PDF version of their front page for free online, at (http://guardian.newspaperdirect.com/epaper/viewer.aspx) In this post I will cover the cover for the insert into the Guardian called G2 and the Ads seen in the Guardian.
The G2 section of the paper is a quick read for those in a hurry.l targeted at a younger audience, it is very image heavy and quite bright and exciting. It represents the “hip” side of the publication and is a clear attempt to engage a new target audience. g2 is a great name for an alternative to the doom and gloom of a traditional A1. I think it is a great addition to the guardian’s lineup of offerings.
I found a PDF of the rate card for display ads in the guardian. I thought this was very fascinating and speaks to, “what is the attention of our readership worth in pounds?” Here is the link to the whole PDF but I wanted to pull some figures out of this well designed rate card. http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Guardian/documents/2010/03/29/rates-display-guardian.pdf
From a design standpoint, most of the ads are marketed as “fixed position” which is quite smart. Half page ads are clearly divided from the news and cannot
stray from the bottom half of a page. A half page ad (24cms x 10 columns) in the main news section in color is £11,368 ($18,000) and for mono is £7,533 (or $12,300). It is unclear if the 30% increase is due to printing costs alone. I would speculate that the perceived “value” of a color (or colour in Britain) ad to a vendor is substantially higher as well.
The range of advertising opportunities range from the smallest 8cms x 3 column (for $2,022) all the way up to a colour double truck (44cms x 20 column) for £34,000 or $55,000.
From these numbers from 2008, we can draw some insight into how the news is placed around these ads and how news designers & solicitors alike deal with them. Firstly, we have a verification of the grid from the source. The grid is 10 columns wide on each page (20 for a double truck) which is a smart amount for a smaller berliner. The columns are usually paired, creating 5 columns of text.
For local fronts: List and discuss the actual content (in general terms) and the architectural elements in more specific terms, but also compare this front to the publication’s A1. How do they differ, how are they alike?
For department fronts: List the departments (recurring sections, organized by topic), including name and topic/theme, and discuss the architectural elements of department fronts and how the publication maintains consistency from one department front to another, and from the cover into the department fronts. Also speak to how the department front differs from the non-front, or inside, pages.
For inside pages: Discuss the architectural elements as well as content. Also make note of whether and what (approximate) percentage of pages have ads, color, images, etc. As always look for patterns, guidelines and rules of thumb. Feel free to add some opinion here, too. My experience is that most U.S. newspapers treat inside pages as though they’ll never see the light of day. It’s all about the covers. European papers, on the other hand, often do their most sophisticated and enlightened work inside.