We got the good news a few minutes ago:
We have won – last year with Expresso in Portugal and this year with Eleftheros Typos in Greece – the Best-Designed European National Newspaper of the Year Award.
The European Oscars for Newspaper Design!
288 newspapers from 26 countries participated in the ninth European Newspaper Awards.
My congratulations to the INNOVATION consulting team for this project.
They have done a superb job!
This has been a great challenge.
The award goes to the new owners (thanks Mrs. and Mr. Angelopoulos), new editor, new art director (thanks Spiros), journalists and managers (thanks Mihalis, Venia, Despina…) of this paper.
They trusted our bold proposals.
And they are the ones that, after the launch last May, have improved the paper day by day.
The results are better than anybody could have expected.
But this award is also a recognition of how content-driven redesigns work.
Javier Errea, Marta Botero, Gabriel Sama, Chiqui Esteban, Pablo Errea, Pablo Ramirez, Eduardo Tessler, Mike Fairhead, Saf Fahim and Juan Senor also deserve the award for their great work.
Paris, our Greek coordinator, was always very helpful and friendly.
And thanks to Phil, a former AP bureau chief in Athens, who introduced us to Paris.
A few weeks ago, Javier Errea wrote a case-study for DESIGN magazine.
This is, in his own words, is what Eleftheros Typos was and what ET now is.
This is an updated version of his article:
Eleftheros Typos (ET) is a national daily based in Athens, Greece.
It was founded in 1983 by Lilian Voudouri.
From the beginning, it stood out for its leadership in both liberal and conservative sectors in the country, with a marked political tendency in favor of the European Union and the liberalization of the Greek economy.
The 80′s saw it reach first place in sales rankings.
It later entered a phase of decline and conceded the top post to other more centrist papers such as Ta Nea and even to the conservative Kathimerini.
The Greek press market stands out for its fierce competition and its sharp political viewpoints.
Some newspapers lack credibility because of their political slant.
Politics and politicians invade everything. Eleftheros Typos was always linked to the conservative New Democracy, the party in power at the moment.
In the middle of 2006, ET, while still exercising certain influences, was going through its darkest hours with a gloomy and submissive news team.
No advertising, crippling losses; a big format and several previous redesigns could do nothing to stop the decline.
Until a tsunami named Angelopoulos roared in.
The shipbuilder and mighty industrialist Theodoros Angelopoulos and his wife, Yianna, bought an exhausted ET.
When Yianna Angelopoulos was named president of the organizing committee for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, her energy and decision-making helped steer what seemed headed for disaster toward unprecedented success and unanimous acceptance in Greece.
For that reason, the arrival of the A’s (as they are known in the country) as the owners of ET made the market tremble.
Politicians and journalists knew something was about to happen.
The new owners of ET entrusted the newspaper’s complete modernization project to INNOVATION, including not only the printed version but also a new corporate building with the most modern newsroom in the country.
From October 2006 to May 2007, the date scheduled for the presentation of the new ET, a dozen INNOVATION consultants worked in Athens on editorial organization and work flows, architecture, pre-press and printing, marketing, editorial and publishing models and training.
Based on rigorous market research carried out by the Washington-based Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, in autumn 2006, INNOVATION proposed a revolutionary newspaper model in Greece: a daily news magazine.
The model was ambitious and risky; internal and external opposition was strong, but Mr. and Mrs. A withstood the onslaught and supported the proposal.
In order to attract young readers and women, a few myths first needed to be dispelled.
One of them, perhaps the most important, was to show the Greek market that exactness does not have to equate to boredom. It is possible to be informative in visual and surprising ways.
The graphic proposal from Javier Errea, who was entrusted to redesign the daily and the new supplements, Agenda and Review, turned photographs and infographics into key players.
Narrow page margins were abandoned and the entire paper was structured in spreads.
Color backgrounds invaded the pages and became packaging tools.
But it all begins on the front cover, which appropriated the visual language of the Internet and made ET into something really revolutionary on newspaper stands, especially for the Sunday edition.
The result: The new ET came to life on May 23, coinciding with the UEFA Champions League final between AC Milan and FC Liverpool in Athens.
The Angelopouloses aspired to have a unique, refreshing daily and that is what they got.
Circulation numbers have grown on Sundays by 150%, rocketing the newspaper from last place in the rankings to the first ones in just two months.
From Monday to Saturday, sales have grown 50%.
Young people, women and intellectuals look for ET now.
In record time, ET has become a fashionable product and people show it off under their arms with pride.
Advertisements flood the pages of the paper, especially on Sundays.
Those in charge at ET mention four: the prestige of the new publisher; the new sections included in ET2 (City, Life, Culture, Entertainment and Sports); attractive covers with personality and the entire graphic project as a whole; and a Sunday review promotion that has had widespread acceptance in the market.
I took these two pictures in Athens during the presentation to Mrs. A of our first prototypes of the new ET.
Javier, Marta, Juan and I wrapped the room with front pages of all the traditional newspapers from Athens to show Mrs. A our prototypes mixed with those old-fashioned dailies.
We produced three sets:
A conservative one.
A revolutionary one.
And a crazy one!
She didn’t have any doubt.
She loved the last one.
“This is what I was expecting. You have done a great job,” she said.
And the new ET was born.
In one minute she gave us the green light!
She was new in the newspaper publishing business a year ago.
Now her newspaper wins this award.
As Javier says, she is a real tsunami!
The first time that I met her she told me:
“Juan Antonio, you and your team are here not to tell me that the newspaper has problems, but to fix them. As I did during the Olympic Games, I don’t want to hear about any problem if you don’t bring a solution.”
Well, ET was a big problem.
But Mrs. A’s paper got a good solution!
This is a marathon, and we’ve just taken the first steps, but the ET take-off is very promising.
And very fast.
Like a tsunami!
Tags: Best Designed European Newspaper of the Year Award
, DESIGN magazine
, Eleftheros Typos
, Javier Errea
, Theodoros Angelopoulos
, Yianna Angelopoulos