Guardian merges visual elements

The Guardian is creating what it claims to be the first dedicated creative department at a national newspaper, by merging its picture desk, design and graphics departments. The aim of the department is to enable each creative division to work together more effectively.

Former head of design Mark Porter becomes creative director of the division and will be responsible for the entire visual appearance of the newspapers, which includes typography, cartoons, illustrations and graphics.

“The restructure hopes to create more opportunities for strong picture editing and art direction on every section of the paper,” Porter explains. “As newspapers become larger, it’s crucial to provide an overall design vision,” says Porter. He says the Guardian will continue to roll out redesigned sections, following changes to supplements such as G2 and Friday Review. “Newspapers have traditionally separated design work from news, but that is not the case any more, and the Guardian has always been commited to design,” he adds.

Former executive picture editor Danny John becomes managing editor, reporting to Porter, and former features picture editor Roger Tooth is the new head of pictures. The Guardian will look to expand its picture desk team following the promotions of John and Tooth.

The move coincides with the appointment of Eamonn McCabe as full-time Guardian photographer after 13 years as picture editor. He says he has decided to go back to his photography roots and “concentrate on capturing people on film”.

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger says McCabe has enhanced the paper’s reputation for photography and broadens its range of images. “His appointment [as full-time photographer exclusively for the Guardian] is a real coup,” says Rusbridger.

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