Dagens Nyheter (meaning “Today’s News”) is a Swedish newspaper with the largest circulation in the country. The paper uses a modular 5-column grid format, although much of the front page is usually taken up by a photo. The design of front page doesn’t look anything like the New York Times. While it’s clearly still a news publication, it seems more “artsy.” The front page has a greater emphasis on images, and there’s not nearly as much text as the NY Times. The “big story” that goes along with the photo typically gets 3-5 paragraphs. 6 or 7 other stories each get one paragraph, and then jump to another page in the paper. These are often accompanied by small photos. There are 2 or 3 teasers at the top fo the page, just under the nameplate. At least one of these is usually surrounded by a bright red block of color – a great way to catch readers’ attention.
I noticed that almost all of the big photos on the front page are portraits of one person – perhaps this is the paper’s way of connecting with the audience and making it the newspaper of the people. Some of these photos are overlaid with white text/captions, and there is a bold headline underneath.
I think it’s really interesting how no two pages are alike, but they still maintain an organized hierarchy. The hierarchy is determined by typeface size and weight, rather than placement on the page. Thin horizontal and vertical lines separate stories when space gets tight, maintaining visual organization. Even though the placement changes from issue to issue, they maintain consistency because every element is always there, regardless of where it is on the page.
Although I can’t read the language that Dagens Nyheter is written in, I’m pretty certain that the paper is trying to convey a fresh, young feel. They definitely make great use of visuals. The frequent use of portraits on the front page make me feel really connected to the paper – if only I could read it!
Here are some examples: