Changes afoot at The Irish Times

It’s not just the internal machinations of The Irish Times that are facing change. From Monday the newspaper itself is to undergo a minor overhaul which will see the introduction of new supplements, an expansion of some of the ‘paper’s existing features and even a layout and design change.

Times editor Geraldine Kennedy goes into a fair amount of detail on what’s in store in an article in today’s edition and now it’s only a matter of seeing how the final product looks and seeing if it works.

From what Kennedy says the redesign itself isn’t going to be as revolutionary as, say, the one undertaken by The Guardian back in 2005 but more of a brand refresh. It’s being undertaken by Ally Palmer of Palmer Watson, a design consultancy firm that has previously worked on The Sunday Independent and the ill-fated Dublin Daily newspaper.

The firm was also behind the recent re-design of The Irish Times’ own The Ticket supplement – clearly this new brief means they got something right there.

The print version of Kennedy’s announcement is accompanied by some mock-up shots of the new-look newspaper and for the most part it looks like a cleaner, albeit largely familiar version of the newspaper. With these changes and the look of the supplements changing too – including the move to the compact format in some cases – I can imagine many will get more of a magazine-type vibe from the newspaper than they did before, in terms of look and content.

Rumours are also abound that The Irish Times are rethinking their subscription-based service in the face of the gradually improving (and, perhaps more importantly, free) online presence of its competition. Could this be coming as an added extra on Monday?

Either way Monday’s edition will be intriguing to see – although the Letters page in the proceeding editions may prove even more interesting than any of the outlets new ideas.

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