El Periódico publishes separate daily editions in Spanish and in Catalan. The two editions combined sell more than 125,000 copies per day, making El Periódico the second highest-circulated newspaper in Spain's Catalan-speaking regions, behind La Vanguardia which also publishes in both languages. Nationally, El Periódico is Spain's fifth-highest circulation general-interest daily.
The paper was founded in 1978 by Antonio Asensio Pizarro, to offer a progressive Catalan paper connected to Catalan socialism. One of the most recent directors, Rafael Nadal, is the brother of the Catalan socialist leader Joaquim Nadal. Originally El Periódico printed only in Spanish; it began a Catalan-language edition in the mid-1990s. Today the separate editions are distinguished by the red front-page nameplate on the Spanish version of El Periódico and the blue nameplate on the Catalan edition.
It is regarded as an easy read as compared to its competitors, and its quite popular among working-class people. Following the example of USA Today, El Periódico later began to emphasize graphics and the use of color. Today, it prints every page in color and makes liberal use of charts and photos.
Its current editor is Enric Hernàndez, previously chief of El País bureau in Catalonia.