10 things to do to make newspapers great all the time

Everyone wants to have a really, really ridiculously good-looking newspaper every day.

To get there, magazine design guru Robert Newman recommends to throw away the Wired and ESPN magazines on your desks, replace them with Real Simple, New York Magazine and the New York Post and design your paper like a newsmagazine.

Newspapers can start working towards a better, more engaging newspaper by building a style that allows for “moments” in the paper.

A reader should be able to open the paper and have at least one visual treat or moment every day, Newman said.

Newman also stressed that design should be in service to the readers, not the designer’s portfolios. Every page doesn’t need an over the top typographic display to deliver an

Newman’s 10 steps towards having a great paper every single day:
1)   Create a look and stick to it relentlessly. The sum is greater than the parts.
2)   Create visual brands. Today’s sidebar is tomorrow’s app.
3)   Images must have value and content.
4)   People like pictures.
5)   Surprise!
6)   Reading your newspaper should be an experience
7)   Stop doing “poster” design
8)   Go deep with service
9)   Make visual statements
10) Act like every issue is your last (which it might be).

Bonus thoughts:
1)   Black letter logos have to go. The NY Times got it first.
2)   You’re an art director. Lost the “visual journalist” and “assistant managing editor of design” titles and embrace being an art director.


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Hurray for Mr. Newman’s 10 steps and Bonus Thoughts.
I have said for years that we need more art directors in newsrooms; but let’s not lost the copy editors. Unfortunately that’s what seems to be happening.

Points 1-4 and the last are absolutely essential. Well summarized in this article. I did this small paper a few years ago and in 4 issues it became more popular and desired than all the other long running papers in my home town.

First I tried to go with visual punch, BIG eye-catching front page image, clear logo type, stuck with a limited pallette, used plenty image, and decided to load only 40% max adverts to content… I stuck to the look and design, and it paid off…

It was called footprint and you can peruse downloadable copies here http://www.imediate.co.za/site/?page_id=516

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