On March 4th 1986 newspaper boss Eddy Shah revolutionised the UK newspaper market with the launch on Today. Â Before this publication came along newspapers in the UK were traditionally printed only in black and white, and were normally laid out using a system called Linotype. Â This way of printing involved making metal printing plates by assembling various letter moulds together by way of a special machine.
Today changed all that in two ways. Â First, it allowed for printing photographs in full colour using a technique known as colour offset printing, not just those weird patterns of black dots that other newspapers were forced to use. Â This system is now used almost exclusively for the production of newspapers and magazines across the world.
Secondly, it computerised the entire newspaper production process. Â Desktop Publishing packages were used to layout the newspaper articles and pictures, which allowed for more fancy ways of aligning text than the old Linotype machines. Â Most importantly though, once all the articles and pictures had been laid out the data could be sent straight to the presses for printing.
Initially the colour printing was a little hit and miss, as the only way to check the colours of a printed image was once the newspaper had been printed, which was obviously a little too late. Â Experience and technology soon sorted this issue out, and Today became very successful. Â After only four months of being on sale the newspaper was bought by the Lonrho group, who were a producer of precious metals. Â It didn’t stay under this ownership for long though, and in 1987 Rupert Murdoch’s News International company bought Today.
The paper went on to exist for almost a decade before it was forced to close down due to lack of readership. Â All the other long established national newspapers in the UK had caught up with Today technologically and the paper lost its main defining points in the process. Â The final issue went on sale on November 17th 1995.