Garcia launches Xpress, first free paper in Thailand

You never know where in the world Mario Garcia will be any given day.

The global design guru just finished celebrating the launch of Daily Xpress, Thailand’s first free newspaper.

And he did it in style, with a cool launch party at Centara, Central World, with more than 2,000 guests. The paper launched Wednesday with distribution all over Bangkok and in Pattaya, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Hua Hin and Koh Samui. It’s published by The Nation.

Mario reports that the launch looks to be a giant success because it’s creating so much buzz. “Readers don’t know what to do yet with a free paper that looks so good!”

The initial numbers on the freesheet appear to suggest that it will start at around 100,000 copies.

The launch of Xpress is the latest in a flurry of free newspapers to arrive in Asia. Publications with local-language editions are popping up in India, Korea, Hong Kong and a dual-language English-Chinese edition debuted in Singapore. Xpress caters to a young urban demographic – 25-35 – and carries news on city life, lifestyle and entertainment, world and sports news.

Here’s the philosophy behind the “always on” culture, as Mario describes it, that Xpress carefully crafts on its pages.

• Ease of navigation.

• A two-track approach to news and feature presentation.

• A small format that is easier to carry and to manage.

• Color-coding to identify sections.

• Innovative advertising positioning

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Mario Garcia atop a larger-than-life Xpress nameplate at the debut gala.