in an 1821 style

 by Martin Belam, 8 June 2011

I’m not sure we made enough of this when we launched it the other week - the 1821 vintage edition of the Guardian website. Using a bit of CSS wizardry, some of our tech and design team quickly turned out an approximation of The Manchester Guardian’s first front page - but filled with today’s live news from the website.

The 1821 Vintage Edition of

The 1821 Vintage edition of

I rather wish we had made it the homepage for everybody at least for a little while. But then I do have form when it comes to novelty front pages.

I don’t know that it will last 190 years, but until the next time we make significant codebase changes to our front page, the 1821 version of the Guardian should keep ticking over with the news. The development team blogged a bit about how they’d achieved it, and it brought out the spirit of fun in some of our below the line contributors, like Moulinsart:

“I've just used used the Job Search function and now have an interview next week as a Rat Catcher. God bless you, guvnor.”

And some playful pedantry about there being no electric lamps in 1821. And some not quite so playful comments about the choice of typeface:

“It's a lovely idea to play around with the old style look of the front page. How sad, though, that no one remains on your staff who knows anything about type. To see Times New Roman (Stanley Morison, 1931) as the chosen font was a real let-down.”

Ah well, you can’t please everybody.

If you fancy working alongside the kind of people who can have an idea like this and turn it into a working reality in a few days, and at a business where it is allowed to happen and go live to the public, then we are hiring client-side developers at the moment.


Really enjoyed this, great fun (and a good job ad for The Guardian, I see).

I know this was brought up in the comments and it probably just reflects my tastes, but the category/headline/standfirst listing works a lot better than the real Guardian for me, especially as a means of displaying lots of stories.

a business where it is allowed to happen

I think you left the air-quotes off a word there.

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