INNOVATION’S “i” IS THE SOLO WORLD’S BEST-DESIGNED NEWSPAPER OF THE YEAR

Files under General | Feb 15th

More good news for INNOVATION from the Society of News Design.

Lee Steele reports:

In its 32nd annual The Best of Newspaper Design™ Creative Competition, the Society for News Design has named Portugal’s inewspaper, a daily that launched in 2009, the World’s Best-Designed™ Newspaper.

Newspaper: i (short for informação)

Launched: 2009

Based in: Portugal

Size: Compact format, saddle-stitched, 250 x 345 mm or 9 ¾” x 13 5/8” with the trim

JUDGES’ OVERALL STATEMENT

As judges, we may have been more surprised than anyone to see that only one paper ended up on the World’s Best list in 2010. In fact, we carefully “parsed” our decision — reached by secret ballot, hence the surprise — to see why one publication edged out the other world-class newspapers on the table in the final round.

In this era of great upheaval in media, the decision came down to innovation.

Many publications we saw are clearly operating at the top of their game, and have been tenacious and intelligent enough to emerge stronger from the economic battering of the last few years. But Portugal’s daily newspaper, i, stood out for its ability to take the best of the visual language of newspapers, magazines and other publications and create something new that is more than the sum of its parts.

It’s compact. It’s fresh. It’s consistent, yet full of surprises.

Its magazine-like size allows the reader to hold the newspaper close; the format invites the reader to engage more deeply. The publication is packed with information, yet extremely well organized, using elements of layering and editing to draw readers into every page.

i walks the line between newspaper and magazine with perfect balance. Its format supports the kind of flexibility that lets it focus on hard news one day and features the next. The editions we saw featured a lead story about a great author one day, then strong reporting of the Haiti earthquake the next. We encountered stories told with a sense of urgency and newsiness, and others told with subtlety and humor.

The paper delivers traditional newspaper content with new, engaging presentation.

This causes us to wonder: Is this where newspapers are going? Is it where newspaperscould go, or should go?  Can new techniques make print even more vibrant and relevant?

WHAT WE LIKED ABOUT i:

The covers appealed to our curiosity, using techniques like thoughtful cropping of images to add intrigue. Color and variety drew us to the publication, providing provocation and an intellectual challenge. The cover featuring the Jose Saramago illustration “is amazing,” said one judge. “I just want to eat it. Every page offers up things that you want to devour.”

It’s smaller than most tabloids (250 x 345 mm or 9 ¾” x 13 5/8” with the trim) and it is saddle-stitched, so it holds together like a magazine. Readers can easily fold pages back, navigate without difficulty and — perhaps — concentrate without the distractions encountered with larger, unbound formats.

Designers are clearly thinking about the way two facing pages work together, whether the stories are related or not. This creates a flow that encourages reading without interruption.

i is composed like a beautiful piece of music. It has the discipline to play only the high notes that matter most. For example, it uses its full bleed capability sparingly. It creates strong impact, even with small things. The surprise of occasional whimsy makes the content inviting.

The publication has a steady grid structure, type and color palette that create a strong platform for difference and surprise. The grid and space look effortless. But there is more complexity than it first appears.

Typography is classic, not trendy. From very large to very small, the principles of scale and contrast apply throughout their type palette. Sans serif feels serious; the serif is more playful. It’s a wonderful contrast.

Headlines are relatively small, but pop within the context of the page.

We found color on every page, yet it is used purposefully, with smart pacing. It’s as though the designers are using a highlighter to clue the reader in to what’s important. One judge called this “print search optimization.”

The palette is rich. Cyan, magenta and yellow create a base for navigation while richer colors provide depth and contrast.

Details in the informational graphics are lovely. They are efficient, distilling ideas down to their purist form. Icons are very simple, easily discernable.

A minimalist approach allows larger treatments to stand out. One example: a two-page graphic that starts the cover story for the “Zoom” section.

i has even rethought the ubiquitous weather page, with a smart approach to organization and color. The compact approach communicates lots of information quickly.

Much of the photo play in i is like a mini reportage. Informational photos are used well, often organized in a series. Most of these images aren’t huge, but they are used proportionally within the design. We were amazed at how compelling we found spreads that didn’t actually include a dominant image. The structure of the page tied it all together.

Mug shots are set up within a round frame. This balances the very rectangular format. It’s a nice trick. It softens the hard edges.

CONCLUSION

What we recognized in this year’s winner was its fresh, unique approach. “i” can inspire visual journalists and publishers anywhere in the world to rethink their models and revise or create new ones that best serve their audiences. They may look nothing like i.It won’t — and shouldn’t — represent everyone’s treatment.

We encourage all designers to apply similar creativity and tenacity to finding their own voice and expressing it with conviction and excellence, no matter the size of the staff or access to other resources.

The judges:
Haika Hinze, Die Zeit
Heidi de Laubenfels, The Seattle Times
Svetlana Maximchenko, Akzia (Moscow)
Carl Neustaedter, Ottawa Citizen
Sara Quinn, Poynter Institute.

What the SND report  doesn’t say is that “i” was from scratch an unique project of INNOVATION lead by Javier Errea and working since the first day with a brilliant team of founding editors (mainly Martin Avillez Figueiredo, Andre Macedo and Nick Mrozowski) that doesn’t work anymore for a paper that with less resources than ever still keeps the same creativity fire.

To all of them (past and current editors and designers) must go all the credit.

For the full story see the chapter about “i” in our 2010 INNOVATIONS INS NEWSPAPERS.

Over 200 pages of “i” can be seen in Flickr


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THE NEX “I” NEWSPAPER IN BARCELONA

Files under General | Oct 23rd

ARA is the name for the new Catalan multi-platform newspaper to be launch in Barcelona on Monday November 25. 28

Small format and short pagination (40-48)  during weekdays and trying to produce a big weekend edition.

The founders will present the new paper formula next Tuesday October 26 but many details, including its own Manifesto, have been released here.

Like the new British “i” newspaper, ARA wants to reach a new generation of Catalan newspaper readers and non readers with a slick, crispy, trendy and compelling print brand with many electronic news extensions.

The goal is really modest and realistic (11,000 copies in the first year) but the founders expect more than that.

Keep in mind that the almost 8-million Catalonia market is smaller but richer than the 10-million Portuguese one where “i” sells more than this figure.

They are investing less than 9-million euro and they the business plan expects to break-even in four years.

The less than 100-journalist newsroom will have very young reporters and the top editors are also a new generation of journalists, lead by Carles Capdevila as editor in chief, Joan Alegre as publisher and Oriol Soler as president of ARA.

INNOVATION was approached by the founders of ARA interested in many of our most recent projects, including the Portuguese “i”, which multimedia newsroom visited in Lisbon, but we have not been involved in any way.

They told us that the ARA project will share many of our ideas (“compact and compelling newspapers”, “caviar journalism”, “daily-news-magazines”, “”30/30 newspapers”. “why and what’s next newspapers”, “show don’t tell journalism”) and the same with the integrated multimedia newsroom concepts that INNOVATION working with our Calau&Riera media architect partners have developed in many countries like the most recent one for India Today in New Delhi.

With more than 19,000 fans on Facebook and more than 3,000 followers on Twitter ARA is promoting the new paper with several viral marketing tools including pre-launch presentations across Catalonia.

Is this new paper going to be a real competitor of La Vanguardia, El Periodico de Catalunya, Punt Diari or Avui?

I don’t think so, but they better pay attention to all these grassroots tactics.

Newspapers are as strong as their connections with readers, audiences and communities are.

And ARA is doing this very well.

If the product delivers this kind of new post-news quality journalism and avoids the temptation to become another political partisan newspaper, ARA could find space and become a viable model.

So, again, like with the new “i” project in the UK, welcome to ARA and to any new paper willing to innovate and offer quality journalism, in English or in Catalan, because around the world there is only one journalism language: the good one.a

UPDATE: A few, and not very impressive, front page proptotypes.


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WELCOME TO THE BRITISH i NEWSPAPER

Files under General | Oct 21st

Since The Independent announcement of a new paper for

‘lapsed readers of quality papers’

many people contacted INNOVATION asking us the same questions:

Are you involved in this project? NOT AT ALL.

Is a franchise of the Portuguese i? NOT AT ALL.

What to do you think about the idea to call it i? IT DOESN’T BOTHER US AT ALL.

What’s your impression about the new paper? CALM, LET’S WAIT AND SEE.

All that said, let me add a few personal comments:

1. I am very happy to know that there is a British newspaper company that has the gutts to launch a new print paper, and I congratulate them. That’s an act of bravery.

2. I am very happy too that they want to create new readers. That’s the only way to survive. If you don’t get new young readers you are dead. So, congratulations again.

3. My only concern is that ghetto newspaper don’t work. You will never succeed patronizing women with women sections and young readers wit newspaper for young people.

4. And I have very serious doubts about the final results of flashy newspapers or readers for “non readers”. Young people read and write more than ever. So it’s not a question of design (let’s scream!) or short or long news and stories, but a question of content, content, content. The new gewnerationd don’t read our traditional newspaper just because their interests, lives, passions, opinions, feelings and concerns are NOT reflected in our pages.

That’s the problem.

That’s the solution.

And for this you don’t need a new niche or “ghetto newspaper.”

But if  i finds a new, loyal and growing audience, The Independent journalists and managers will get a very strong message.

This was going to be, let’s remember, The Times for New and Young Generations”.

Something that The Independent wanted to be, but failed.

So never is too late to try it again.

My best wishes for them.

Thank you for adding a new print voice to the elderly and dying British newspaper market!

And count with me as a “newspaper fan” and reader.


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INNOVATION’S I BECOMES THE BEST DESIGNED NEWSPAPER OF SPAIN & PORTUGAL

Files under General | Oct 10th

Six months after its launch “i” became the “European Newspaper of the Year” and now becomes “the best designed newspaper of Spain & Portugal”.

The SND-E big award to “i” is an award to the visual team that on daily bases produces one of the most creative newspapers of the world.

A total number of 2.384 works from 70 media from both countries participated in the contest this year, exceeding last edition’s participation record (62 media): 2.153 were from 53 printed media and 248 from 17 online publications.

This is a great example of how a new paper gets better and better after the take-off.

The INNOVATION editorial concept and Javier Errea’s fantastic design have been improved day by day, so the real credit goes Nick Mrozowski (Creative Director) and Pedro Fernandes (Art Director).

They deserve our gratitude and admiration.

Well done!

More great front pages of “i” here.


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INNOVATION’S I NEWSPAPER GOES RETRO

Files under General | Oct 5th

I ANIV REPUBLICA

Just for one day.

A great front page of “i” by Pedro Fernandes, for the anniversary of the Portuguese Republic.


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2010 INNOVATIONS IN NEWSPAPER WORLD REPORT (6): THE EUROPEAN NEWSPAPER OF THE YEAR

Files under General | Aug 31st

2010-08-31_0724

Last week, the Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers Association’s Congress devoted one of its main session to our project in Portugal.

The INNOVATION’s i newspaper, as INMA’s CEO Earl Wilkinson, who was there, says, “redefines what a brand can be in print with a “daily magazine” design so stunning and different as to defy characterisation.”

Get the full report here.


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THE NEWS FROM PORTUGAL: CORREIO DA MANHA GOES WILD, I DOESN’T GET IT AND PUBLICO WINS

Files under General | Jul 12th

correiodamanha.750

They are trying to catch Cristiano Ronaldo’s son.

That’s all.

By air.

By any means.

Including missing the Soccer Word Cup Final news in today’s front page.

Oh, boy!

Our friends of i didn’t get it either.

And they went, oh Gosh! with the 365 front page of Socrates.

0000191784

The best way not to sell a newspaper after Portugal was glued last night to the TV sets.

What a shame!

But Publico, the best daily newspaper of Portugal, won with an excellent picture, headline and cover.

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THE NEW INDEX WEEKEND MAGAZINE OF i (FIRST ISSUE)

Files under General | Apr 23rd

Index001Pag1

Almost one year after the launch of i, the young quality national daily-news-magazine newspaper of Portugal presents its new Weekend Magazine, Index.

Like the previous award-winning magazine NOS that was scheduled to last one year, this new one has been also designed by Nick Mrozowski, the fantastic Art Director of i.

This is a sample of the first issue that has 60 pages.

Index001Pag6_7

26_27

42_49

20_22

20_223

Index001Pag30_31

34_35

Quality journalism always will have future.

Congratulations!


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INDEX, A NEW WEEKEND MAGAZINE IN PORTUGAL

Files under General | Apr 23rd

0000158437

In tomorrow’s Saturday edition, i will publish the first issue of Index, its new Weekend Magazine.

A great new magazine produced by a great newsroom.

Later, the concept and the best pages.


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GREAT SCOVER STORY AND SUPERB FRONT PAGE

Files under General | Jan 6th

i Gravidas da TAP

The European Newspaper of the Year.

Well deserved!


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