Politiken – Field Note 1

Politiken is a Danish daily broadsheet newspaper.

It appears to have a fairly modular design, but occasionally makes use of hand-drawn front pages that stray from traditional grid formats. Here is an SND award winning page from 2012:


The most difficult aspect of this design is to successfully use cartoon-like illustrations and retain the seriousness of front page news. In this case, the front page introduces Politiken’s redesign. It cleverly has a page within a page within a page.

Lets take a look at a more common Politiken A1:


I love this page because even though I cannot read Danish, I can understand the gist of major world news. Politiken’s use of one dominant image, provides a clear hierarchy.

Politiken uses yellow, red, black and white on every A1. I like the strong plain black lettering for the nameplate. There is something serious and trustworthy about the typeface. It is successfully recognizable and simple.


Politiken normally has 4 small ads, on the bottom. I like their placement because it doesn’t distract from the important content. Above the nameplate, Politiken has 5 teasers. They are not always there… as you can see with the Bin Laden cover, certain content is deemed important enough to take up the majority of the A1.

Politiken’s A1 headlines are very reminiscent of the nameplate typeface. Again, they are simple and informative. They successfully create hierarchy and don’t appear to be trying to be pretty.

It appears that most stories on the A1 use jumps, and continue later in the paper. But usually there are only 2-3 stories, making Politiken any easy read. Unlike many US newspapers that have upwards of 5 stories, this trend is common in Europe.