The Australian Financial Review's favourite front pages

The Australian Financial Review is celebrating its 70th Anniversary. Telum Media spoke to several of The AFR's current team who shared their favourite front pages from the masthead.

Jeff Allan, Art Director: "IT'S WAR!" (21st - 22nd March 2020)

What I love about working on The Australian Financial Review is that I get to work both parts of my design brain. The weekday paper is a model of restraint. I really enjoy creating a clean, intelligent newspaper for a mostly subscription-based audience. But then on the weekend, where our audience is a 50 / 50 mix of subscription and off-the-newsagent-shelf readers, I brighten things up with bold colours and a more vibrant design, and really get to flex my creative muscles. It's the best of both worlds for an Art Director.

Newspapers are so fast it can be hard to spend the time (and get the Editor's attention for long enough) to create strong, complicated, typography-based page ones. This "IT'S WAR!" front page from March 2020, with the blue glove (almost touching the contact tracers), worked well - although it was a frantic effort to the very last second of the deadline.

Ed Tadros, Professional Services Editor: "Global Tax Schemes Exposed" (6th November 2014)

The Future Fund, AMP, Macquarie Group, Lend Lease, Goodman Group and dozens of other Australian com­panies had negotiated secret deals to reduce their taxes by routeing profits through tax havens. This front page was a perfect example of The Australian Financial Review's Neil Chenoweth uncovering a globally important story about tax minimisation schemes.

Lauren Sams, Fashion Editor: "KEEP THE FAITH" (​​​9th - 13th April 2020)

Creating a cover, or front page, is such a mix of art and science. I don't think you can quite understand the pressure to craft just the right cover lines, just the right images, and just the right colour scheme unless you've done it yourself. Having something pop on the newsstand is tricky. In newspapers, it is a daily challenge to make sure your publication looks relevant, informed and readable. There is a real secret sauce to it. 

This is my favourite front page from my time at The Australian Financial Review: the Easter bumper edition from 2020, edited by the very clever Andrew Burke. COVID-19 lockdowns had begun, borders had shut down, and the world, in general, seemed much scarier than it had a few months before. This front page was a breath of fresh air at a time when fear was currency and some sections of the media were whipping people into unnecessary frenzies. I'll never forget seeing the main cover line - it made me smile, like, ear-to-ear. Imagine that, a newspaper making you smile, without an Olympic gold medal shot. Wow. 

The whole page has an air of positivity, grounded in facts, that felt so different and timely. I still think about this page's secret sauce a lot, which probably gives me away for the giant news dork that I am.

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Edmund Tadros

Professional Services Editor

Lauren Sams

Fashion Editor

Jeff Allan

Art Director

The Australian Financial Review

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