SND Amsterdam: ‘Only break the rules if you know them by heart’

Interview by Sara Joosten

With the SND Amsterdam coming closer, we wanted you to get to know some of the speakers a little better. We asked them about their career and how they got to the point where they are now without giving too much away about their SND talk. The first interview is with Madeleine Jarling.

As Layout Chief from Bild am Sonntag, Madeleine Jarling leads the design team of the biggest weekly newspaper in Europe. Previously, she worked as a designer for the daily BILD and the weekly BILD am Sonntag for a few years, quit the job to travel the Americas, Australia and Asia and was a freelancer for several clients.

Hi Madeleine! You have been to quite some places already! Do you think your travelling has had a lot of effect on your work?

“I think traveling has an effect on my personality and my personality has an effect on my work. So yes, it does. Besides, you get out of the design bubble of your country. Due to globalization and organizations like the SND, one can get an insight on other countries styles, but traveling gives you an insight of the cultures. You get to know the audience, you see posters, TV shows and unknown papers. I remember that I was totally irritated by Chinas all colorful and blinking TV shows and amazed by the daily “Prensa Libre” in Guatemala. I think in western countries people believe their own work is the standard or the ‘normal’ way. They tend to underestimate developing countries, which is a big mistake. People who do not have a lot are often more creative.”

Besides by traveling, where do you get your inspiration?

“Exchanging opinions with other designers, just walking through the streets, seeing advertisements and posters, checking graphic books, Twitter and experiencing new things. The smallest, most unexpected thing can be the biggest inspiration!”

What, in your opinion, makes or breaks a good visual?

“It’s good, if you understand what the story is about without reading the text and if text and visual are combined to one piece and complete each other. A good visual should make the reader curious to read the whole story. It’s NOT good if the visualization has nothing to do with the content.”


Due to globalization and organizations like the SND, one can get an insight on other countries styles, but traveling gives you an insight of the cultures.”

Is good visualization any more or less important in a newspaper that’s only published once a week?

“It’s always important. For a weekly paper you can do more detailed visuals. People have more time at the weekend to enjoy their paper, so they have more time to read longer stories and explore detailed infographics. Whereas in a daily paper, a visual that tells the story fast and easy, is more important. So, I think the importance is the same, but the claim to the visualization is different.”

What’s your ‘good advice’ for aspiring designers out there?

“Concentrate on the basics first. Do them well. Start breaking the rules only if you know them by heart. And if you do, do it so it makes sense for the story, not for your own self-fulfillment, while also always remembering to keep the identity of your publication.”

If you want to hear Madeleine speak at the SND Amsterdam, you can buy your tickets here.

 

 

About Madeleine Jarling

As Layout Chief from Bild am Sonntag, Madeleine Jarling leads the design team of the biggest weekly newspaper in Europe. Previously, she worked as a designer for the daily BILD and the weekly BILD am SONNTAG for a few years, quit the job to travel the Americas, Australia and Asia and was a freelancer for several clients.

 

 

 

 

 


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