Can design save the newspaper?

Posted by Alex

Polish designer Jacek Utko on the impending doom of the printed newspaper, and how good design could turn things around. His statistics certainly are convincing, and I hope for the sake of my morning routine that he’s right. I would really hate to see the printed edition become extinct. Watch the TED version here.

He mentions it briefly, but when he says “this is the new role of the designer: to be in the process from the very beginning to the very end”, that is the biggest take away for me. The role of the designer is definitely changing, and our value now has a lot more to do with how we think than what we can do with a blank page.

4 Comments Leave A Comment


NAVIS says:

April 12, 2009 at 11:37 pm

I want to tie boat anchors to his feet.

I’ve never been a huge newspaper reader. If anything, I enjoy destroying the Sudoku puzzles. However, if papers were designed better – I probably would read them more often. I associate most big time papers with cold, colorless, stale, impending doom sorta feelings. Not exactly how I want to start my day. But, if they were to look as rad as those in the video… I might be more compelled to start my day off with a paper instead of the Weather Channel.


Alex / HeadUp says:

April 13, 2009 at 6:42 am

While his statement that designers need to be involved from beginning to end certainly rings true, and it’s what has caused me to lean more toward advancing my education to the design realm, rather than continuing down the traditional business track to get an MBA. I think businesses nowadays are starting to get the message.

I think an even more pertinent point was the third lesson– that even if you don’t have extravagant budget, with inspiration and determination, you can still design successfully. Everyone starts somewhere.

I gotta say tho, I wasn’t really feeling a lot of those front pages he showed…I can imagine he probably had to make compromises with the other stakeholders in the project, but to be honest– Alex, I’m much more drawn to the layout you did for Day For Night, wish we could see that in more newspapers and periodicals.


alex says:

April 13, 2009 at 9:57 am

Alex- I agree, some of the layouts he showed weren’t really up my alley. I imagine they were vast improvements from their old counterparts, but that European style of information/periodical design doesn’t appeal to me. I still consider the NY Times the best designed paper out there; though it looks like they might need more than just good design to get past their financial troubles:


Matt says:

April 13, 2009 at 4:07 pm

I feel like there are so many reasons electronic is better than print, when it comes to the news, that there’s no point. I take a news reading device with me everywhere now. They aren’t perfect yet, but pretty close.

I guess I kind of see this like, “Could we save vinyl by having better album art?” I’m sure it would have slowed down the slide, but it doesn’t really matter. There are times I like print too, but not enough to keep any sort of business going.