Respect The Architect: Can an Architect Save The Newspaper?


I have always believe that design and the process of design should be part of every aspect of our lives personally and professionally.  Design can affect  the bottom line of any business postively.  But most businesses in this country see design as a luxury and not an integral part of their business.  Companies like Apple have proved that design can truly affect the bottom line. From the Mac computer to the ipod and iphone, Apple has transformed their company into a major technology and entertainment player that most companies dream that they can have the fraction of influence that Apple has.

One business in this country which is currently is in turmoil is the newspaper. Newspapers across the country are folding or going into bankruptcy.  Publishers blame bloggers, the internet and other new media for the downfall of newspapers. Could the downfall of newspapers be as simple as a lack of bring design into the publishing process.  Looking at most papers, the layout and general look has not change for over a century.  Instead of newspapers blaming new media, maybe they need to hire an Architect, or better yet an Architect’s mind when it comes to putting together a paper.  Or how about this former Architect by the name of Jacek Utko who has transform various European newspapers declining readership to increase readership by applying architecture design processes to the publishing.  Check out this video from Ted and how he explains how his designs transform not only the look of newspaper but it’s bottom line.

Newspaper designer Jacek Utko suggests that it’s time for a fresh, top-to-bottom rethink of the newspaper. (At this point, why not try it?) In his work, he’s proved that good design can help readers reconnect with newspapers. A former architect, Utko took on the job of redesigning several newspapers in former Soviet Bloc nations, starting from basic principles. He worked closely with newspaper executives to figure out the business goals of their papers, and then radically reformatted the product to fit those goals. (And he wasn’t afraid to break a few grids in the process.)

What are your thoughts? Can design help newspapers in this new media world?


One Response

  1. Great topic, Tarik —

    Print news is in big-time trouble. I’m wondering if those redesigns can save American papers. IMHO I think it’s over for the big city daily no matter what it looks like. MJS slashed a good chunk of the newsroom staff last year — I really can’t see how MJS expects to survive without the folks to produce quality content.

    Maybe if the suits upstairs at 333 W. State St. fired themselves …


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