Dubai: Out with the old, in with the new. If you’re reading this in newsprint, you’ll have noticed that it’s smaller, narrower, crisp and clean.
Gulf News switched to this Berliner format Friday — we’re the first newspaper in the region to do so — and the response has been overwhelmingly positive from you, our readers.
This is the result of a lot of planning, meetings, mining the best minds, making sure everything comes together in a format which gives you more news, views, analysis and information in a compact and readable format.
"It’s been a lot of hard work to get to this point," explained Editor-in-Chief Abdul Hamid Ahmad yesterday. "And in many ways it’s just the beginning of an exciting new era for us all, our readers and our staff."
Months of planning went into the project, coinciding with the introduction of a new state-of-the-art waterless printing press and production plant in Dubai Investment Park, new software to harness content and information in print and online, and a new perspective in maintaining Gulf News’ lead in news, views and analysis in the region.
"The response has been phenomenal," Ahmad said, busy replying to Tweets and emails of "mabrook" and "congratulations."
But it takes true teamwork to come together and bring the best-laid plans to fruition. Everyone from newspaper delivery boys to van drivers, printers, technicians and printers were hard at work getting the new paper to your doorstep and news stand.
The planning for this new project covered everything — even ordering new canvas bags for the delivery boys to cater to the new smaller size.
Design Director Miguel Gomez was looking less frazzled yesterday as the Berliner size and design took hold in the newsroom and in the marketplace.
"My son said to me ‘Dad, is your project like a school project?’ and I said ‘Yes, except that the project is only just beginning now’," Gomez said, an iPad under one arm, a paper in his other hand, and the next creative project in his mind.
"It’s fresh, catchy, fabulous, vibrant — something that was badly needed in the market place," said Rijosh Joseh, a Dubai-based public relationas professional.
"When I first heard that Gulf News was going to be smaller, I was a little concerned. But when I saw the paper [yesterday morning] I was very pleasantly surprised by the design and how vibrant it is. It shows that there was a real need for a modern and vibrant newspaper."
"Congratulations to Gulf News on converting to the Berliner and for the interesting articles on the world of typography, colour palettes, newspaper formats and the new printing press," wrote reader Amelia Joan Brown.
"It was like a course in Publishing 101 and I know a great deal more about the industry than I did. I love the new size newspaper. It is smaller in size, which for a normal person with average-sized arms, is a better choice as it is far easier to handle than a larger one. Smaller is the new black! Bravo, Gulf News!
Marketing executive Mike Wallis was equally enthused by the newspaper on his Dubai doorstep yesterday morning.
"What a way to wake up in the morning," he said. "It’s modern, bright, full of news and analysis. A very good read. Good goods in small parcels."
The big broadsheet format had been used by Gulf News for more than three decades. It took Copy Editor Aries Guitterez less than three seconds to pass judgement. "I like it," he beamed as he thumbed through the new smaller Berliner. "Ich bin ein Berliner," he quipped.