Design and redesign

By Alejandro Bruna, Universidad Católica de Chile/SND

It was already dark outside the Centro Cultural Borges and the lights had already been turned in most shops inside Galería Pacífico, but things were just getting started for those part of the Student Program at the SND 31st Annual Workshop and Exhibition. Right after Luke Hayman’s opening speech that afternoon Iñaki Palacios gave one of the closing conferences of that hot Friday, September 25th. Stylishly dressed in black, and with a thick Spanish accent as an accessory, Palacios lectured to a full auditorium (including some people from the Professional Program who seized the chance to see the Spanish designer speak) about design and redesign.

Palacios began remembering Eliseo Verón, whom he met when he was working on the redesign of the newspeaper Clarín, and who said one of the funniest lines he had ever heard of: “He said that we needed to remember that “pregnancia de la opacidad en la fragmentación informativa”. Basically, it meant that we should be careful of fragmenting the information, and that the excess of elements can scare the reader away,” said Iñaki.

Palacios went on to show different cases of redesign around the world, focusing in examples from Europe, such as the Gazeta Wyborcza, from Warsaw, Poland, a political newspaper. “It all came down to design and how the stories were told graphically. The stories were complex, so we needed order, structure and spaces to invite the reader to such dense topics,” he explained.

Other case studies were from Italy, Spain, Brazil, Holland and Venezuela, to name a few. “Design is not a purpose in itself. It’s the means to reposition a brand, a chance to refocus the product, anchor the voice, style and editorial model of the media, while repositioning it,” Palacios synthesized.

In order to do this, Palacio maintained that the design shouldn’t be a problem to the reader. Instead, one should aspire to enrich the text with infographics, images and pictures as long as they don’t clutter the page. “The idea should always be to enrich the content, to offer more means of entrance to the text. This, with structure and a clear and simple typography, create empathy and a relationship with the reader”, he said.