The Guardian grew from provincial roots, but it had weight and influence well beyond Manchester. In 1959, to reflect its increasingly national status, the word ‘Manchester’ was dropped from the name of the newspaper and ‘The Guardian’ was born.
Two years later the paper began printing in London as well as Manchester. In 1964 the editor moved to the capital, which became the home of the Guardian’s headquarters.
A move to new buildings on Farringdon Road in London in 1976 helped to consolidate the Guardian’s position in the national market, and the paper enjoyed a decade of unchallenged dominance as the voice of the Left.
The launch of the Independent in 1986 threatened that security. The Guardian responded with a major redesign that began the modern period of success in the paper’s history.
In September 2005 it refused to follow the Times and the Independent downmarket by going tabloid and relaunched in the ground-breaking Berliner format.
The relaunch, which also made the Guardian the UK’s first full-colour newspaper, brought both critical and commercial success. The Berliner won a string of awards, including Newspaper of the Year, and achieved a substantial increase in market share. The Observer joined the Berliner club to similar acclaim in 2006.
But the Guardian is no longer just a newspaper. Guardian Unlimited (now theguardian.com), which launched in 1999, is now one of the world’s leading news websites and is regularly voted the world’s best in its class.