What’s Next

The Society of Publication Designers is a unique organization recognizing publication design in New York City. SPD is holding a speaker series and on February 14, 2014 the speaker series presents The New Yorker’s Creative Director, Wyatt Mitchell, in a discussion over the iconic magazine’s redesign. The New Yorker was established in 1925 and since has been one of the city’s most prominent publications on a variety of facets, culture and long form journalism being two of them. Mitchell has been the mind behind the design changes since its founding, the article says, and is now going about the redesign brainstorm by presenting to members and non-members of the SPD on Valentine’s Day evening. In his talk he’ll talk about the typeface designers know to be signature to The New Yorker and some new design decisions that have taken place in one of its sections. It’ll be an overall conversation about the magazine’s design history, its design successes and failures, and some of the fresh design staff working in its creative department. http://www.spd.org/2014/01/friday-february-14-2014600pm–.php

Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab is a journalism project of the institution, specifically a project on journalism of the future. Cory Haik, the writer of this particular entry, speaks about adaptive journalism and how it’s going to be the face of the industry in 2014. Adaptive journalism, she defines, is journalism that’s there for people despite what or where they’re doing whatever it is they’re doing; to take advantage of the platforms on which they absorb their news. In other words, journalists in the world of adaptive journalism will begin tracking individuals’ specific use of smart devices so that their personal data and preferences on a device generates specific news content according to things going on in their life. Haik uses the example of a businesswoman who’s on her way to a meeting about advertising. For example, that woman’s calendar shows a meeting she has and the location she’s in, so her feed may generate stories on 2013’s dining guide based on what food she’s liked online before. Haik compares the past’s revolutionary desktop to today’s “small screen,” being smart devices and that it’s a must these small screens are taken advantage of in order to anticipate news for the user. http://www.niemanlab.org/2013/12/news-that-anticipates-the-readers-needs/

My first innovative news design selection is that of my undergraduate college, The Ithacan. The Ithacan has been experimenting with new design templates for decades and recently I’ve noticed they’re trying a newly designed jump page. They’ve incorporated a multimedia section right into the Nation & World page, which was always text-based in the past. The three-column wide multimedia section breaks up the text nicely but is a risk for its unexpected location and the fact that its content is technically unrelated to the content on the page. It seems like they’re just looking for a place to put this section, but at the same time it fits in visually. In The Ithacan’s Accent section (arts and entertainment), the staff has tried a new type of layout for one of its features—a photo heavy layout. The title is on the left side of the spread and isn’t easily noticed as the official title, but the dek on the next page helps to tell the reader this since there’s no title accompanying it.

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The Indiana Student Daily is another collegiate publication that’s known for taking risks in innovative design. This staff experiments with the type of fronts they publish, which is a major risk to take. College publications can take risks more freely, as it’s their job to learn what works and what doesn’t work before they’re working for a nationally or internationally dependent publication. The first photo is its first spread and what’s interesting and fun is that the nameplate is not easily identified but it works because of its collegiate quality—the students know and it’s likely the community knows, so they can have fun with the space the first page has to offer them.

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