South Africa’s historic Sowetan newspaper debuts a modern-day makeover

South Africa’s historic Sowetan newspaper debuts a modern-day makeover

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 7.07.27 AM

Sowetan, a leading newspaper in South Africa, unveiled a fresh, modern design today, with help from INNOVATION.

The re-launch of Sowetan marks the fourth successful design relaunch of INNOVATION’s continuing project with South Africa’s Times Media Group. Sowetan’s progressive overhaul continues to pave the way for the launch of Times Media’s legacy brand, Sunday Times and its digital daily edition, The Times, later this year.

The hallmarks of Sowetan’s new layout design, created by INNOVATION consultant Spiros Polikandriotis, boil down to clean and evocative page layouts, bold colour palettes that distinguish each content section, high-level infographics, and of course, the visual preservation and restoration of one of South Africa’s most renowned and historically-significant opposition newspapers.

This remains a point of pride for the paper itself, for Times Media Group, and for all INNOVATION consultants who worked on the project.

In the words of its editor:

“We have spruced up just for you”
Monday, March 13th, 2017

To our readers:

To paraphrase Nelson Mandela’s message in a booklet celebrating this newspaper’s 25th anniversary, Sowetan “occupies a special place in the history of the South African press.”

We could not agree more.

Sowetan came into being in 1981 as a worthy successor to The Bantu World, The World, Weekend World Post and Sunday Post, newspapers banned by the apartheid government on account of their fierce opposition to the oppression of black people in the land of their birth. It’s no exaggeration to say that Sowetan, perhaps more than any other newspaper in the country, played a vital role in chronicling the majority’ struggles against oppression.

Sowetan is very much a part of this country’s history. It was in the trenches with the majority during the dark days of apartheid. It survived and has thrived. It has a proud history and rich heritage of which the current custodians of the newspaper are immensely proud.

The secret to Sowetan’s continued success has been its ability to adapt and remain relevant to its readers’ needs by offering a compelling content mix that includes up-to-date news, politics, entertainment, lifestyle and sport, among other.

We do not take our readers for granted. Sowetan staff work hard every day to earn the loyalty of you, our readers, who see the paper as a reliable, credible source of news.

In spite of the advent of new competitors, the newspaper, to quote the respected radio presenter Redi Tlhabi, has resisted the temptation to “dumb down.”

Over the years, we have remained faithful to our core ethos but also ensured that our content mix kept up with the reading needs of our people.

In our constant quest to better serve our readers, we are today unveiling an exciting, new-look Sowetan. It’s a modern, fresh design that aims to enhance the readability of your favourite newspaper.

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 7.08.14 AM

We also intend to do more to empower people with self-help features on how to better their lives. There will be more content on matters such as entrepreneurship, small business and personal finance.

We will highlight the successes and achievements of role models in our communities in all walks of life in the hope that their uplifting stories will encourage youth to learn from them, and hopefully to emulate them.

At Sowetan, we take the responsibility of being the voice of the powerless very seriously.

We shall continue to be the voice and champion of all our people, and to act as a watchdog against the abuse of power, no matter where such abuse emanates.

We look forward to getting your views on the changes we have made.

Happy reading,
The Editor


Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 7.09.51 AM

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 3.20.53 PM