First, a redesign of the paper. Then, a code of ethics. Now, a new look for the Sunday edition in a tabloid format. It’s all happening at India’s biggest business paper, The Economic Times, from The Times of India stable, in its golden jubilee year.
The 32-page, 10-rupee paper, internally touted as the “Mint-killer”—in other words, ET‘s response to Mint‘s weekend edition Lounge—arrives sans any announcement or advertisement, much like the redesign that was quietly introduced without any dhoom-dhamaka.
In its size, look and feel, the new paper bears likeness to ET Wealth, the weekly personal finance tabloid that was launched by ET in December 2010, under the helmsmanship of former Business Today editor Rohit Saran.
Image: courtesy The Economic Times
Quietly, almost as if it doesn’t want anybody to notice, India’s oldest and largest business paper,The Economic Times, has undergone a redesign. On top is the front page of the launch issue of the paper in its new avatar (Monday, 14 February 2011) and below is the paper from exactly a week before.
The pagination of the paper from The Times of India stable, which turns 50 this year, remains more or less the same. There are no new pages or sections. In other words, old wine in slick new bottle is enough to ward off the design challenge posed by the Hindustan Times‘ business paper, Mint.
The key changes are in the colour of the masthead from blue to black; new headline fonts; a tighter body font taking it closer towards the body font of ToI; and plenty of icons and logos, even in headlines. Keen observers of design will notice subtle shades of inspiration from designs of The Guardian, The Observer and International Herald Tribune.
The top-secret redesign, which has been subtly introduced sans announcement, has reportedly been executed by Itu Chaudhuri Associates, which designed the original template for Open magazine and was behind some of India’s best book covers in the late 1990s, including Arundhati Roy‘s Booker Prize winning God of Small of Things.
Images: courtesy The Economic Times
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After bundling The Speaking Tree with The Times of India, the country’s biggest newspaper group has unveiled a new product that comes bundled with The Economic Times: ET Wealth.
The 48-page personal finance newspaper, in a Berliner format a la Bombay Mirror, is issued with ET on Mondays. It will be supplied free in the first two weeks, but will be prized at Rs 5 each week after that.
In other words, the onus is on the subscriber to let the hawker/ vendor know if she does not want ET Wealth with his paper every Monday. Or else, the monthly ET bill surreptitiously swells by Rs 20 or 25.
Edited by former Business Today editor Rohit Saran, ET Wealth skirts with the non-existent ethical lakshman rekha from issue no. 1.
The only advertiser in the launch issue is Nirmal Jain-owned private wealth management firm, India Infoline.
There are six strip ads, eight quarter-page ads, nine half-page ads, and three full-page ads, all of IIFL, without disclosing even once that IIFL is a Times Private Treaties partner. Which means that the Times group is invested in the advertising company that is selling its wares to readers.
Also, the real estate pages in ET Wealth have been compiled with magicbricks.com, again without revealing that the online realty firm is a Times of India property.