Bringing a 172 year old tradition into the modern age

Client

Briefing Media

Brief

Transition Farmers Weekly, a 172-year-old tabloid newspaper, into a news magazine format.

Approach

Farmers Guardian operates in a conservative market. Reading habits move very slowly over generations and any product change has to be handled with care. Over several months Andy Cowles worked closely with the editors, designers, picture desk and external research house. He made new templates for all the pages, and trained the journalists to write in a more direct manner.

Outcomes

After such a big move in retail display, Farmers Guardian sales remained rock solid, putting real pressures on Farmers weekly, their newsstand rival. 2017 research shows average read time up from 58 to 70 mins with 74%  preferring the new format. But more importantly, ad revenue is up 12%, making this a hugely profitable year.

Managing Director Rory Brown said: ‘Andy sat with the teams as they made up the first issues; challenging them not only on design but on picture choices, style and headline writing. He lived the project and our team loved working with him and learned a lot from the process. The feedback to our new look has been overwhelmingly positive’

The new front cover design
Readers tweeting the relaunch Brexit cover
Farmers Guardian has an immense amount of data to tabulate
The editorial team in Preston with the first relaunched issue
How the two rival titles stacked up against each other in relaunch week