The Mario Blog
03.30.2017—7am
It’s the era of templates

More newspapers are relying on templates to expedite production, to create hubs where mass production of pages takes place, and where one look fits all. The pros and cons.

Another major newspaper company, this time Britain’s Telegraph Media Group, has announced that is cutting jobs by outsourcing more of its sub-editing and page production to a third party agency.

A sign of the times, I may add.

In my own work, I am approached more often than ever to adviser with newspaper companies that which to give one look to several newspapers in the group, or which are trying to tweak the existing design of the printed newspaper by creating templates that adapt easily to a variety of content in various sections.  Here are some of the templates we created for the McClatchy group of newspapers in the United States.

 

This is not necessarily news. I have always maintained that in order to produce a daily newspaper, there has to be what I refer to as a scale of 60% formula and 40% surprise. The surprise is the content the editors curate, the photos and illustrations they select, and, alas, the headlines they write.

Today, I am beginning to see that the reality is more like 75% formula and 25% surprise.  The current economic state of the media demands such drastic measures.

At the Telegraph

The Telegraph team has announced that it would produce some of the broadsheets’ print pages in northern England.

“This will result in some roles at the Telegraph’s offices in London being carried out at a dedicated Telegraph production unit at the PA’s offices in Howden, Yorkshire,” a Telegraph spokeswoman said in a statement.

It’s happening in newspapers around the globe, and, while I agree that templates are a solution, and my team and I create templates for our clients, always expanding on the required number and trying to make sure that room is always allowed for serendipity.  More templates means more possibilities for surprises.

But, no matter how one looks at it, quality suffers a bit, especially when staff is cut down. In the case of the Telegraph, I read that fewer subeditors (copy editors) will be in place.

 

Template Tips

Templates are a reality, however. My tips for those contemplating a series of templates to expedite production with fewer editors at hand:

 

  1. Create realistic templates for routine treatment of news.
  2. Create templates that allow for creativity in design.
  3. Always have an almost blank canvas of a template where the necessary furniture of folios, logos, etc. is there, but the designer has the freedom to improvise.

Remember, especially with a printed newspaper, the reader expects surprises. When the product becomes visually monotonous, it is another reason NOT to want to come to the print edition of the newspaper.

I still think that the 60/40 formula works best.

 

Speaking Engagements Coming Up

VOZ Media Conference

April 6
Vienna, Austria

I will be the keynote speaker for this event, my presentation titled The important role of print in the digital age. This presentation presents a state of the media today, with emphasis on how we tell stories visually on mobile devices, the role of print and the importance of email newsletters and sponsored content to find new ways of promoting content and monetizing your operation.

For more informationhttp://www.voez.at/b2039m10

 

TheMarioBlog post #2599

 

 

 

Blog Post02.22.2018—7am
These are pages we like
Blog Post02.21.2018—1am
Let’s hear it for the Design Boot Camp
Blog Post02.20.2018—1am
When editorial content and advertising clash.
Blog Post02.19.2018—1am
Does creativity suffer when design is outsourced?
Blog Post02.16.2018—1am
Facebook and publishers: rocky time in the relationship
Blog Post02.15.2018—1am
The end of text. The end of print. What a week!
Blog Post02.14.2018—11am
Handelsblatt and its English edition
Blog Post02.13.2018—1am
Fake News: some are planning to fight back
Blog Post02.12.2018—1am
The post text era. Really?
Blog Post02.09.2018—1am
Some of the most beautifully designed apps you never heard of
Blog Post02.08.2018—1am
A rare manuscript of interest
Blog Post02.06.2018—8am
How AR brings that newspaper box (or whatever) into your living room
Blog Post—1am
When type is used right
Blog Post02.05.2018—1am
It’s all about making that type easy to read
Blog Post02.02.2018—7am
Design hubs can art direct, too
Blog Post02.01.2018—1am
Templates versus art direction
Blog Post01.31.2018—1am
It’s all in those details
Blog Post01.30.2018—1am
When every dot tells a part of the story
Blog Post01.29.2018—1am
Vertical type! Not always a no no
Blog Post01.26.2018—1am
FT extends free access to high school students: good thing!
Blog Post01.25.2018—1am
The Globe and Mail: a print redesign inspired by digital strategies
Blog Post01.23.2018—1am
The new FT campaign
Blog Post01.22.2018—1am
Are we using better photos today?
Blog Post01.19.2018—1am
The challenge of that fold
Blog Post01.18.2018—1am
The Washington Post: another profitable year
Blog Post01.17.2018—1am
Did I really read that much?
Blog Post01.15.2018—4am
The Guardian changes more than just the format
Blog Post—1am
Are vulgar words now part of a journalist’s styleguide?
Blog Post01.12.2018—4pm
The new New York Times campaign
Blog Post01.11.2018—1am
The good news about paying for content
Blog Post01.08.2018—3pm
Prof. Miguel Urabayen (1926-2018): Tribute to a grand maestro
Blog Post—2pm
Fire & Fury: Here’s a cover that tells more of the story
Blog Post—1am
End of print edition for Montreal’s La Presse
Blog Post01.07.2018—11am
Happy New Year…..I am back, sort of
Blog Post12.19.2017—10am
My prediction for 2018: we will write, edit & design for mobile
Blog Post12.13.2017—1am
Best wishes for the holiday season!
Blog Post12.12.2017—1am
Every year should be year of the audience
Blog Post12.11.2017—1am
The Post Most: curated content as easy as 1-2-3
Blog Post12.08.2017—1am
The power of a comic
Blog Post12.07.2017—1am
Those European ePapers Continue Growing
Contact us with speaking requests, questions or to discuss a project.