Kauppalehti: Covers & A1 Sauce, yum. (FN #2)

Format & Size

Kauppalehti’s full-spread measures 521 x 365 mm. A one-page spread measures 253 x 365 mm. The media kit of many publications are a great way to figure out these dimensions, in case anyone was having trouble finding this. It is formatted as a tabloid, larger than a compact, smaller than a Berliner, and way smaller than a broadsheet. It is considered a trade newspaper, very commerce-oriented — trade newspapers are similar to trade magazines, such as PR Week magazine in that it is a magazine catering only to the public relations industry. It has a very newspaper feel overall if you flip the pages, but as for the front cover, it physically looks like a cross-section between a magazine and a newspaper. The flag is in your face and very heavy, there is always one dominating photo with a headline below, above or to the side of it — this is why it maintains that magazine-feel. There’s always a couple of teasers accompanied with photos located on the bottom or on the side of the front cover — this is why it maintains that newspaper-feel. As mentioned in the first field notes, one of Kauppalehti‘s signature moves is to have a cutout over the flag on every front cover. This seems very neo-newspaper to me because I’m used to nameplates untouched and clear of any distractions. There is no tabloid grid format on the front cover, but he tabloid grid system holds true once we delve inside the paper. The design is very modular in that everything presented on the front cover is very boxy and seems to stack next to or on top of one another.

Function & Purpose

Kauppalehti makes a case of being very neo-newspaper in the way it chooses to incorporate the images/illustrations/photos with its stories. For example, the chart is working with the headline and summary of this story, but also ties in the overall context in its design. The chart has these measurement tabs located on the side, and next to that are the teasers of other stories inside the paper. There are teasers everywhere on this front page! And that is how it is for every issue. A tabloid format is constrained by size and space, the purpose of smothering the front cover with teasers is a part of the game. New York Times has the luxury of featuring long summaries of several stories and placing jump lines for these stories on the front page (that’s the advantage of a broadsheet format), but for Kauppalehti, I guarantee you will never find ONE jump line neither on the front page NOR the inside pages. Thus, the function and purpose of Kauppalehti‘s front cover is to make sure all the “find this story on page __” jump lines are only located on the front page. This is the magazine-feel of this publication, it always finishes its articles on the same spread in which it is written. This is also another feature I find very neo-newspaper. I’m just so used to jump lines that when I observed Kauppalehti I was shocked and pleasantly surprised; I really hate jump lines.

Design Elements, How Information is Organized, Hierarchy of Elements | Roles of Photos and Visuals

I’ve decided to group all of these questions together because the design elements (format, photo, visuals, typeface, font treatment) is a part of how information is organized and plays a role in the  hierarchy of these stories, as well as the elements itself. The main story is the one with the largest photo smacked right in the middle of the front page, which is where my eyes first gravitates toward. The headline is always the largest font size of all the other fonts, except for the nameplate, and the deck’s typeface is always in serif and not bold, similar to the nameplate’ typeface. The second graphic element my eyes gravitates toward is the cutout image placed over the nameplate. This tells me that this is the next big story. Also, if you look closely, there is always a yellow screen on the bottom right corner of each issue. That’s the only other color you’ll see on the front page aside from its signature blue and occasional red. This might be the special issue to look out for inside the paper. This also tells me that it’s an important piece to pay attention to besides the main feature. Then gradually, I look at the teasers from the top of the front page and scan through other teasers as I move toward the bottom of the paper. Unless we’re in China, humans are used to reading from top to bottom, from left to right. The placement of certain articles, in addition to font sizes and typeface treatments, is in the order of how we naturally look at something. Also, aside from the main story, the teasers are very brief; often they are only one sentence or just a quote. Short, clear, clean and easy to read. That’s how Kauppalehti designs its front page.

“Feel,” Tone, or Attitude of Front Page | Implicit Messages of Publication

Kauppalehti is very modern and innovative in the way they try to make news fun and interesting. There’s always something about the images they choose to put on the front page that makes it attractive. Like the women with the outrageous collar, or the carpenter holding up that frame. Again, the cutouts act as if the images were pasted on the paper — it has a very scrapbook-feel, but not in a childish way. I feel like the attitude of this front page is suppose to reflect the people who read this paper: they want a thorough read. I think that’s why all these teasers surrounding the front page work well for this target audience. There’s so much to know about the business world. Every element is clean and there’s enough white space despite the text and images.

Is It Consistent?

This is Kauppalehti‘s latest issue, Feb. 11th. As you can tell from the rest of the front pages, they are very consistent in the way it places its elements, uses its fonts, the cutouts, the teasers, and there will always be that yellow screen toward the bottom right corner. The Kauppalehti is a very distinct paper; I think I would be able to spot it if the nameplate was covered in a pile of other newspapers.