Report from India: Inspiring great design, in print and online

The WAN-IFRA, SND news design conference in New Dehli this week brought together visuals leaders from around the world for the first workshop of its kind.

Featuring Javier Errea, of Errea Communications, Adonis Durado, of the Times of Oman, Tyson Evans, of the New York Times to name only a few. Here is a summary of the workshop.

More about news design in India here as part of SND’s Year-Long Conversation.

The conference started with the key note from Javier Errea of Errea Communications and director of SND Spain. He emphasized that “I am not a designer, but a journalist.” Javier stressed the need for alternative story forms. According to him, story telling is of the utmost importance as decorative designs alone cannot win the hearts of the readers these days. He is also not in favor of using templates in newspapers. “It makes newspapers too predictable,” he said. News designs must carry surprise elements for the readers. He also advocates that every journalist must think visually.

Errea said he is now on his way to Kottayam, India, where he is redesigning one of the largest circulated dailies in India-Malayala Manorama, relaunching Feb. 1.

The second speaker was Deepak Harichandan, design editor (west) of the Times of
India. He explained the challenges Indian designers are facing compared to their European counterparts. To Deepak, Indian designers will get only limited space and time to work with design element because many of the newspapers are printing in Lakhs.

Next address was by Gulf News star information graphic artist Douglas Okasaki. He started his presentation by pointing out India is a land of graphics. Douglas illustrated it with Indian stamps, paintings and so on. And he wondered why this is not reflected in Indian newspapers. The general response to this was that it is due to the constraint on space and also that in India
text rules over visuals.

In the next session, Peter Blak explained the importance of using exclusive fonts and how vital it is for print and web.

Next up was Hans Peter Janisch, of Germany. Unlike other page designers, he said, sports designers have total freedom in the world to bring out more surprise elements in the pages for readers.

Adonis Durado of the Times of Oman described his newspaper’s winning formula in the last SND competition through 25 points. And he also explained how successful he is in extracting the best from his designers. He also had discussed about scope of Indian news design in his chat with some delegates later.

Next was Abel Robinson of Mint and Tyson Evans of The New York
Times. Abel talked about the tablet design. Tyson spoke about present and future interactive graphics.

T.K. Sajeev is also the visual editor of Kerala Kaumudi newspaper and the creator of India’s first newsdesign site

About T.K. Sajeev Kumar

Visual Editor at Kerala Kaumudi, India and Past SND 19 regional director - Asia, South-Pacific

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