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Hans Peter Janisch on Indian Budget front pages

Well known German design consultant and trainer Hans Peter Janisch critiquing page one of the major India dailies which carried Indian Central Government Budget exclusively for www.newspaperdesign,in

Hans Peter is visiting India next week as a trainer for WAN-IFRA's new design session to be held on Bangalore


One thing I really like about newspapers in India is the use of illustrations on special occasions like this one. All the pages I have seen are illustrated bold and clever. While many papers in the west tend to stick with photos, even on such a big day, India seems to go a different way.
And using illustrations can be so much better. Especially if you look at the hidden meaning, the little secret elements one does not catch a the first glance.


The Hindu


Great play in the illustration with the right and the left eye, very uncommon for the country is the bold use of white space. But why not on such an important day? Also very trendy are the little icons and the numbers they represent right and left of the headline. We are talking alternative story forms. So the top part of the page is excellent, the bottom part kind of looses weight and momentum.



Also a good approach. One topic, one page. Again clearly not too much text, rather info boxes and smaller elements. I like how the illustration blends into the page and is combined with text information.


Hindustan Times


Again we see an illustration. This time handled more in a "western" way, more like picture set in certain number of columns instead of combined and blended in with the text information. The illustration itself is nice, good idea to have him juggling with the items of wealth.



Funny idea, to have the guy dressed up like a lady, since some of the proposed budget topics regard women. Also nice to have him so big, to go over the masthead a little. Good work with the info boxes. I question the position of the illustration. I would like to see this page, with the "lady" on the right side, walking into the page. Maybe that would have been better…


The Telegraph


This time we have a photo-illustration that brings together the idea of the three faces of the country: poor, young and female. Nicely done, also the size and position on the page. The story right to its left is a bit heavy. The column is set too wide, there are no interruptions like subtitles etc. and it just runs down from top to bottom. Thats a counterpart of the illustration and its explanation right next to it.


Times of India

Wow, the "Life of Pi" turns into a budget illustrations. Very clever and also perfectly done! While th paper otherwise carries a very conservative look and feeling, this clearly stands out and brings life to this page. Also shows, that being conservative should not stop you from using illustrations.




The only paper in my collection, that uses a photo as an illustration. It is nice, escepially in combination with the informations that go along with it. But it clearly has less impact then the big illustrations we have seen before. This paper looks and feels very "western".


Deccan Chronicle


The smallest of all the visual ideas to present the budget. In comparison with the competition it seems quite old-fashioned. One reason might be the amount of text that seems unstructured. Sure, everybody loves to read, but we need to be aware, that large amounts of text need to be more structured if we want to attract especially the younger generation. And I guess we all need to do that.

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