Friday July 6, 2012
Utko shares views on the future of print media
AWARD-winning Polish newspaper designer Jacek Utko gave a talk on the ways of redesigning newspapers as part of the Audit Bureau of Circulations’ (ABC) “Talk & Toast” series at Eastin Hotel recently.
Utko, a former architect, provided the audience with 21 ideas of how newspapers could be redesigned to help increase circulation as well as provide readers with a better news-reading experience.
Utko took on the job of redesigning several newspapers in the former Soviet Bloc nations and has worked closely with newspaper editors and designers to come up with better designs for newspapers.
As a result, he has won several awards including the World’s Best Designed Newspaper awarded by the Society for News Design for Poland’s Puls Biznesu and Estonia’s Aripaev.
“Newspapers in the future will be designed according to the styles of magazines today,” he said.
According to Utko, newspapers will need to have more spreads, creative editorial formats as well as high quality designs.
“In the age of Twitter and Facebook, young people today are getting used to reading a shorter amount of text. Therefore, newspapers will have to come out with bite-sized chunks of information to allow readers to absorb information faster and easier.
“There needs to be a balance between long and short articles in the newspaper,” he explained.
He also highlighted that newspapers needed to sell their stories, adding that articles in newspapers today are too long, have no entry points and have no consistency between the stories and pictures.
“The stories need to be sold with strong visuals and interesting typography.
“Readers only ready 7% of text in the paper; hence, the visuals need to be eye-catching and strong.
“Editors and designers need to break down the walls in the newsroom and work together to make the newspaper content-driven and visually appealing to their readers,” said Utko.
He also said that newspapers had an advantage over news websites where they could break the design template easily.
He has taken advantage of this in his previous works and has produced countless newspaper designs that were not only informative, but eye-catching as well.
“Websites are constricted to follow their template. Every day we see the same layout on news websites while newspapers have the freedom to be different everyday. This is a huge competitive advantage for print media,” he said.
The session also included a briefing on ABC’s revised rules by Margaret Au Yong and a presentation on the difference between readership and circulation by the Malaysian Media Specialist Association.