Graphic Design — 16

A Graphic Language for The Guardian

The Guardian has a wide range of newsletters covering many topics. I was brought in for 3 months to lead design in the newly formed Newsletters team and create a graphic language and design system. The goal was to bring together the existing newsletters into a cohesive product offering with an exiting and recognisable style and support the creation of new newsletters.

Guardian guidelines

Guidelines

Previously, any given newsletter would handled by the editorial team responsible for the content and would use visual assets that varied wildly, from photography to simple graphics to commissioned illustrations. Viewed on the Guardian website, it was hard to tell a newsletter promotion from a random news article. To address this I created a graphic language that would allow for creative and thematic freedom, while maintaining a cohesive visual identity. Graphics can scale up and down in complexity while following the overall guidelines.

Guardian cover Sleeve notes
Music news and reviews
Guardian cover The spin
The Cricket newsletter
Guardian cover Techscape
Technology newsletter
Guardian cover Down to earth
Environmental news
Guardian complexity

Components

To make creating new Newsletters faster and simpler, I developed a library of content blocks that the designers and journalists could use to build up a newsletter in a consistent, structured way. Some have coloured elements that can be altered to suit the style of the specific newsletter or editorial category.

Guardian components
Guardian colour scheming

Illustrations

During my time at the Guardian, my team launched a number of new Newsletters, testing the new design system. We also created sign up pages for each, which included a set of illustrations I created in line with the graphic language.

Illustrations winter olympics
Illustrations pushing buttons
Video game news and reviews
Illustrations how to love now
A sex and relationships newsletter
Illustrations her stage
Stories from women from around the world on various issues