Typography-The Independent

The Independent has just been using the current typography design since November 7, 2013, which is only three months ago. The redesign involved almost every part of the newspaper, from typeface to page arrangement, and from name plate to body text.

It began to use a new set of custom-made typefaces that are designed by Henrik Kubel of A2/SW/HK and A2-Type, which run throughout the newspaper. It has 14 fonts in total, with an Indy Serif with italics (light, medium and bold); an Indy Sans (light, bold and heavy), an Indy Sans Condensed face (light, medium and bold) and an Indy Hairline, which is used in the nameplate and some section titles.


(The Independent typography picture is quoted from Creative Review Blog, http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2013/november/the-independent-redesign )

The Indy Hairline is used in the newspaper’s nameplate, with “The” in upper-case and lower-case and “INDEPENDENT” all letters in capitals. The headline runs vertically from the top to the bottom of the A1 page. It also appears in some big headlines and section covers.  This typeface is the most “dramatic” one in the whole set, and can easily catch readers’ eyes because of its uniqueness.

nameplate                 nameplate-3

In the teaser of weekday versions, The Independent uses Sans Heavy in the first line to highlight it, which is always the most important name in the story. Then in the second and third lines, Serif Light is used. In the page reference line, Sans Heavy is used again. The size changes from larger to smaller from the first line to the page reference line. Sometimes the Serif Medium with italics is used in the rightmost column.


In the Saturday Version, the section reference line of the teaser is in Sans Heavy, and the main teaser lines are in Serif with italics, with highlight parts in Bold and other parts in Light.

saturday headline teaser sat

The Independent always uses Slammers. In headlines, some headlines which begin with a name (only in the line right below teasers, or it can be a teaser as well), in which Sans Heavy is used, and follows a colon. The words behind the colon are in Sans Light. Other headlines are in Serif Bold or Serif Medium. Decks are lead with red dots and in Serif. The size depends, but the headlines are always larger and border than decks. Some special headlines also use other typefaces in the set.


The body texts are in Serif Light, which is very easy to read in long text bodies.


Captions are in Serif Light with italics or Sans Light. And the credit lines are in Sans Bold, with all letters in capitals. In article bylines, the author’s name is also in Sans Bold and all upper-case.

article byline credit line1

In the Voice section, the author’s name is the headline, in Sans Bold. The deck is in Serif with italics.


The names in sigs are in Sans Bold and all capitalized, which match the bylines. And the descriptions are in Sans Light, also all in upper-case.


Pull quotes use different typefaces in different articles, which are always Sans Bold or Serif Light with italics. The special quotation marks are always used.


The set of typefaces appears elegant. They are used in different and particular sections, and all of them are easy to read in their places. Because of the complete font family, The Independent looks as a whole from page to page and the typefaces seldom attack readers in surprise.