Hillman turns THE into a quarto magazine

The Times Higher Education underwent a redesign last week, when it received a new look and rebrand by Studio David Hillman.

Formerly a tabloid newspaper, it will now publish as a quarto magazine. Its first major redesign for 36 years will see the publication drop its full title, Times Higher Education, in favour of the acronym THE.

‘When you have a famous pedigree like The Times, it is tempting to keep the association,’ says Hillman. ‘But the fact is that the magazines no longer belong to the [same group as The] Times, so I found the word difficult.’

Hillman was appointed in April last year, following his departure from Pentagram. He oversaw the redesign of TES – formerly Times Educational Supplement – in 2006.

Editor Gerard Kelly says, ‘We redesigned because the newspaper market is stagnant, and the magazine industry vibrant. Many academics perceive magazines as unprofessional, but the redesign has not frightened the readership.’

Publisher TSL Education, which bought TES and THE from News International in 2005, changed its design brief after working with a focus group. The first stipulated a New Yorker-style magazine, heavy on text.

Following market research, TSL Education changed its brief to include fewer words per page.

‘The subjects covered by THE do not lend themselves well to illustration, so we went for large typography,’ says Hillman.

He adds that he is disappointed not to be redesigning the Daily Mirror, which went to Spanish design group Cases Associats (designweek.co.uk, 19 December). ‘That’s a job I would have loved to have done – everyone knew I was after it,’ he says.

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