Lessons on News Design | Blogpost #1 KH

“But it’s not only about the front page. The secret is that we were treating the whole piece of paper as one composition, like music. And music has a rhythm, it has ups and downs… flipping the pages is readers’ experience, and I am responsible for this experience.

The circulation of these newspapers increased, too. And this is just after re-design.

Design was a part of the process. It’s about improving the product completely. Function and Form = Content and Design. First you ask the question, why you do it what’s the goal? Adjust the content accordingly. Start designing.”


1. Design can change anything and everything and everyone

2. You can work in a crappy environment but you can still put your work to the highest possible level. Inspiration and determination. Remember that to be good is not enough.

Above are excerpts and thoughts I took from Luis’ post Can Design Save the Newspaper? a lecture by Jacek Utko.

From my knowledge of graphic design (namely, from what I’ve been told, it’s computer design), I never thought much less or more of it. It’s pretty stuff we see on the computer. It’s the pretty stuff we see on our smart phones. It’s the crazy posters we see from really cool bands, like Gorillaz’s Plastic Beach album (see below). Sure, it takes talent and hours slaving on our Adobe Suite programs. But I never thought much of it. I didn’t care.

When I took my first graphic course in Newhouse–virtually every fresh/soph’s most dreaded course for those who are artistically challenged–I saw graphic design for what it really is. It is pure torture, blood, sweat, and tears.

But I was intrigued. I wanted to learn more. I wanted to turn my ugly magazine layout into a publishable product. I glued my eyes on the Mac and let my mouse move things, change font colors, create gutters, place images, etc. etc. This is GREAT. And then it all ended.

And during the last week of class of Fall 2010 semester, I saw my prayers answered: News Design for the New Age: GRA 587. And here I am. So, what do I expect from this class? Growth. Growth in how I view things in news, news design, magazine design, decision making, professionalism, friendships, how I express myself, and more. Professor Strong mentioned in class that this class is not about technical things — no learning how to do InDesign, no learning how to do Illustrator.

I am going to prepare for the worst and say that this class will be focused solely on what Jacek Utko believes in: creating art and designs that change the way people view news, and newspapers at that matter. I am going to remember what he said about how news designers (that’s us) are responsible for the readers’ experiences when they flip through the pages of a newspaper. And remember that although the front page can be designed as if it’s a poster, it’s not ONLY about the front page. Design is like music composition. Always think how you want the rhythm of reading a newspaper to feel like.

I stand by SND standing by the vision of “enhancing communication around the world through excellence of visual journalism.


One Comment

  1. I’m happy to see your Virginian-Pilot example. It is hands down one of the most beautiful newspapers in the US today.

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