The Trust Media Group - Nigeria

Media Trust Newspapers of Abuja, Nigeria run the national Daily Trust, Weekly Trust and Sunday Trust newspapers.

In the latter part of 2008 the Chairman, Directors and Editor in Chief decided that they wanted the newspapers to reflect their ambitions by making the papers more international in content and design.
Nigerian national newspapers number fifteen and the Trust papers were in the top five. The top three is the aim for 2009. Then number One!

Billington Design Associates were contacted by the Editor in Chief in the late part of 2008 and after a series of meetings were appointed to handle the re-design and re-launch. At the same time the directors of Media Trust felt they wanted to move on from their old software system Adobe PageMaker. BDA were asked for a recommendation. We suggested InDesign would be suitable as it not only provided the necessary design led facilities but also offered Adobe Bridge which meant department heads could follow the progress of the newspapers from their desks. It also provides, through the server, excellent management of pictures.
Research was carried out and focus groups gauged the likes and dislikes of the readership. A programme was put together for implementing the new software and introducing the new design.

David Billington set about travelling around Abuja judging the local feel and colour of the Nigerian capital. It is quite unlike other African cities or countries in which the company has worked. Abuja is completely different. The city is no more than 30 years old and is still being contstructed. Four lane highways, magnificent mosques and churches plus modern glass business structures make up the landscape. There is plenty of blue sky with a wonderful African light and wide open spaces. Billington wanted to reflect that in the design of the paper.

Media Trust is a fast expanding company with solid foundations and ambitious plans. Expanding the newspaper distribution into far reaching areas of the country, whilst appealing to all the diverse communities which make up Nigeria's 140 million inhabitants, presented interesting design challenges.
The main part of the design was done in Billington's studio in the UK using experienced designers and planners. Workshop training sessions, were devised for the staff of the Media Trust papers not only in newspaper design but also in the new software, InDesign. Billington and one of his senior designers travelled to Nigeria to do further work on the project.

After months of preparation the newspaper was launched on April 27th and has been a re-sounding success. Billington was on hand to steer the first editions through production after working day and night in getting the content mix and design just right. After spending two weeks prior to launch working in the Trust offices with the editorial staff Billington is now working on the editorial workflow and setting up an electronic picture desk.

The Trust newspaper circulation is showing a healthy rise and the first editions were all sold out.

The papers have also set a new design standard in Nigeria and West Africa and the close link between Media Trust and Billington Design Associates is set to flourish for years to come.