The Australian Financial Review

The daily habit of successful people gets a digital upgrade

Australian Financial Review

The Australian Financial Review is Australia’s premier destination for business and finance news. It is the essential daily read for the nation’s most influential and ambitious decision makers, with monthly readership of over 3 million.

With 70 years of history as a print publication, guiding the newsroom into the digital age was the biggest challenge as we set out re-imagine how the AFR could become the premium digital experience the audience expects.

Premium efficiency

The goal of the re-design was not just to make the experience feel more premium, but also to ensure reading efficiency for a time poor audience. The principal of ‘scanability’ was applied wherever possible, which meant bolder headlines and stricter left alignment rules.

With imagery not always a priority for much of the everyday business reporting, we enabled some sectional story tiles to feature related ASX stock quotes instead, providing better context and quick links to the new markets data section.

Luxurious features

With several luxury magazines being part of the AFR portfolio, new feature templates were created to better signal the difference in reporting. Not only were these quickly embraced by the editorial teams who enjoyed the simpler layouts, but with big and bold typography, as well as much larger images, they also created an environment appealing to high-end advertisers.

AFR feature articles

The brand

Re-platforming the full digital experience gave us an opportunity to clean up not just outdated templates and patterns, but also streamline the visual language to be simpler and clearer.

Colour palette was refined to better work with accessibility standards and reduced to give each colour a more defined purpose.

One of the more distinct brand elements of the AFR is the woodcut treatment of the author headshots. The old process of producing these was tedious, expensive, and not optimised for digital. Not able to take the Wall Street Journal approach of using machine learning to produce similar treatments, we created new PhotoShop templates to make them more consistent, as well as reduce time and effort.

Fairfax / Nine – 2017-2021