Abstract Changes in the visual form of newspapers are considered to be connected to changes in society, technologies, and aesthetic ideals. The present chapter explores the changes in the visual form of Estonia’s major newspapers between 1806 and 1940, and whether Mervola’s model of visual changes, in Finnish newspapers, is applicable to Estonia’s newspapers. Content analysis is used to analyse the data. The analysis shows that Estonian newspapers considerably changed their visual form twice during this period. These changes in visual form were linked to social and economic factors, and three specific influencers were present prior to both instances of change. At first, rapid social changes caused a volume-jump in the newspaper issue (1.5 times in five years), and then competition and journalistic professionalization were needed to trigger the changes in the visual form. Technical evolution did not force newspapers to change, but was instrumental only when social factors demanded changes.
free text keywords: Communication, kontentanalüüs, ajalehe ajalugu, ajalehe välimus, newspapers, visual form, H Social Sciences (General), Content analysis, Estonian, language.human_language, language, Media studies, Period (music), Professionalization, History, Newspaper, Social science, Visual form, Influencer marketing, Social change