Tuesday, 6 May 2008

A new logo

Focus, for the lack of a better word, is good, especially in the newspaper business. So the new corporate logo unveiled Monday by Quebecor Media is warranted.

Sun Media chief Michael Sifton unveiled the new corporate logo in the latest issue of Think Media, a periodic Quebecor Media newsletter for Sun Media employees.

Publications in the largest newspaper chain in Canada have been under several umbrellas - Sun Media, Osprey, Bowes - and one brand for all makes sense. Focus clarifies.

But the focus on appeasing advertisers in the announcement of the new logo and in other content in the newsletter pushes the gathering of news to the sidelines.

And that is rather odd timing, this being the week when hundreds of reporters, photographers, columnists and editors will be gathering in Toronto for a Canadian Press dinner and the National Newspaper Awards gala.

Will any of the guest speakers take the opportunity to pull a Howard Beale and tell Canadian journalists worth their salt they should be mad as hell with the diminished emphasis on ethics in journalism and good, old fashioned competitive news gathering?

Probably not.

But, back to the new Sun Media logo announcement:

“As Canada’s largest newspaper publisher there are a lot of advantages to strengthening our brand image and finding as many ways as possible to work as one team,” says Sifton.

“Using a Sun Media logo will enhance our profile with advertisers, while providing a strong platform for all of the publications that serve the hundreds of communities where we operate,” says Sifton.

“Our local banners will continue as before to have a strong presence in the communities, but connecting them under the Sun Media corporate brand reinforces our network and our offer to advertisers.”

The new logo will replace other graphics, such as the Osprey bird, and will be used in conjunction with the Bowes and Osprey legal business names. The mastheads of all the Sun Media publications will be making use of the new Sun Media logo.

The new logo will be phased in on new business cards, letterhead, cheques and other materials as new stocks are ordered.

The newsletter says a style guide, being developed by Toronto Sun Creative Services Supervisor Brian Corcoran, will indicate how to use the new logo in various applications.

“We want to make the best use of the Sun Media branding but without interfering with the publication names that are important in each market,” says Corcoran.

It appears the red and white front page Sun logos will not be affected, which is good news.

Not so good news - a newsletter that puts most of the emphasis on advertisers and bean counting and little on the encouragement and support of competitive news gathering.

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