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12 September 2021

The New Statesman: A New Direction

Our new visual identity is contemporary, but also inspired by The New Statesman's 108-year history.

By Jason Cowley

Welcome to our new website, showcasing the New Statesman’s new visual identity – perhaps the most elegant and ambitious in our 108-year history.  

The launch of this new site marks the latest phase of our expansion plans, as we take the New Statesman’s award-winning journalism to new international audiences. In recent times we have established an international team led by Jeremy Cliffe, formerly head of the Economist’s Brussels bureau. The team is based in Berlin, Washington, DC and London, and they will lead the ongoing internationalisation of the New Statesman, bolstered by the arrival of foreign affairs experts Alix Kroeger (from the BBC) and Megan Gibson (from Monocle).   

We wanted to create a new design that supports this expansion, one that will work across our digital and print platforms. We collaborated with Mark Porter, one of Europe’s most acclaimed editorial designers, and he worked closely with our in-house design team, led by Peter Newman and Erica Weathers, who last year won a British Society of Magazine Editors award for her cover design work.

The brief was to create a new look that was contemporary but also inspired by the history of the title: we were looking back as well as to the future.  We have introduced a new typeface that, in its clean, classical elegance, draws inspiration from the New Statesman of the postwar period, when type was celebrated. We have given our masthead a warm, softer tone of red, inspired by the New Statesman’s first colour-printed cover in 1958. 

Creating what Mark calls a “design intelligence” for the New Statesman means giving equal weight to aesthetics and function. Peter Newman and his team have achieved that with a clean and authoritative website that is intuitive and responsive to readers’ interests, and which accentuates the most essential content. This new aesthetic extends to our podcasts, videos and newsletters, all of which we know are essential as we reach new audiences.

The New Statesman’s business model remains centred on increasing paid-for subscriptions and building engagement with our growing online readership, as well as creating commercial partnerships. We have also developed new ways of funding our expansion. “This isn’t just about having a design that looks more current and accessible,” said Phil Davison, global head of sales at the New Statesman. “Lead Monitor, the proprietary technology we have built, allows us to understand our audience with unparalleled precision. Having deeper insights into how our communities engage with the New Statesman (and its extended network of brands) means we can move away from traditional advertising models, offer better value for our clients and never compromise our readers’ experience.” 

In an age of pandemics, climate crisis and political upheaval, our mission remains unchanged: to understand, analyse and explain the defining issues driving change in the world. We have an open mind, liberal ethos and strong convictions. We especially value independence of thought, scepticism, criticism and a willingness to debate – and we believe our new design expresses this spirit.  

In recent days, Tim Ross, formerly head of politics at Bloomberg, has joined to lead the expansion of the politics team, and Philippa Nuttall, former editor-in-chief of Energy Monitor, will lead our coverage of environmental issues and the climate crisis. The historian Adam Tooze, who has written our latest cover story, is joining as a contributing writer. We are also launching a new fast-paced, reactive comment vertical on our website, which will be led by Pravina Rudra, joining from the Telegraph.

We hope our new visual identity will help many more readers to discover and enjoy the New Statesman’s journalism as we enter the post-pandemic era with confidence and renewed purpose.