G&M's $1.7 billion "Reimagination"

The Globe and Mail unveiled a bold design makeover on October 1.

It's more compact, more colorful, printed on premium glossy paper and laid out like a webpage. There's a new emphasis on white space, photography and boutique ad content.

The redesign was an in-house job driven by a 2008 contract G&M management signed with Transcontinental Inc. and Glacier Media Inc., which own state-of-the-art German printing presses, KBA Commander CT (two located outside Toronto, one in Calgary and one in Vancouver). 

Glacier has also purchased a new press to handle a hybrid heat-set and cold-set production process for its plant in Saskatchewan.  

This equipment is used by only 5 newspapers in the world. The agreement is worth $1.7 billion over 18 years.

Editor-in-chief John Stackhouse told CBC he wanted to "celebrate the beauty of print". 

"We see across the world a lot of high-quality papers - The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times - doing very well because more sophisticated readers still want a paper that helps them understand what just happened," he said.

Narrower columns (resulting in increased hyphenation) and ragged right alignment have generated considerable criticism. 

Toronto designer Nick Shinn developed two fonts for the redesign. He is a passionate supporter of local design: 

"Death to Helvetica! Helvetica is the #1 selling typeface at MyFonts. It's given away with every operating system. It's the corporate face of the multinationals, be they the Gap or Getty Images. But it's only one of the many old sans fonts that dominate today's typography. What does this say about the present age, when its spirit is best expressed by vintage and traditional sans faces? It speaks of a fascist aesthetic - banal, conventional, monolithic and utilitarian."