I wish I could read Portuguese but to my utter disappoint I can’t.
Recently Portugal’s i newspaper won The Best of Newspaper Design™ Creative Competition. It was the clear winner and it’s easy to see why.
You can read the full article here but in short the judges were impressed by the covers which used “techniques like thoughtful cropping of images to add intrigue.” Colour and variety “provided provocation and an intellectual challenge.”
The judges appreciated the size of the newspaper (250 x 345 mm) which was saddle-stitched making it easier to turn pages and read a whole page without entering the personal space those beside you. They praised the typography and the grid layout. “i walks the line between newspaper and magazine with perfect balance.”
And it’s true. When I looked through the images I was immediately drawn to the publication. I wanted to read it, every page of it. It looks like something I’d have a hard time throwing out. And it’s just a daily newspaper!
Wouldn’t you love to see a re-do of our New Zealand Herald? In a time when newspaper sales are dropping it seems obvious that our local paper could benefit by taking a similar approach as Portugal’s i newspaper. Take a look at the New Zealand Herald and you’ll see what I mean. Loud, obnoxious and ugly are the adjectives that come to mind when I look at our newspaper (and I’m not even talking about the writing). A garish blue heading, over-processed images and titles that scream at you like a used car advert. The layout is as familiar as many other newspapers and just as dull. The rest of New Zealand’s newspapers aren’t doing any better or any worse as you can see here.
Of course design alone won’t save the NZ Herald but it could certainly help them stand out from the crowd. I’d love to see our newspaper become an object of desire.