On March 16th,2012 there were two big events for India.1. Government Budget by Finance Minister Pranab Mukerjee 2. 100th International Century by cricketer Sachin Tendulkar.
Well-known international design consultant Lucie Lacava evaluated some of the Indian newspapers of that day exclusively for www.newspaperdesign.ning.com
Times of India
Playing two major stories on the Front page can be difficult. The Times of Indiaand the HindustanTimes had by far the most attractive presentation.. Both papers used top of the page refers pointing to the sports story inside and lead with the budget story. Taking completely different approach, both papers pull it off by combining an at a glance numbers box, and an editorial illustration with the news story. Attention to detail, polished presentation and contemporary illustration style, contribute to make these newsworthy and attractive packages.
DNA combinines the highlights from both stories into one headline and a briefs package. Commentaries and opinion fill the rest of the page. The page is attractive, but trying too hard with the graphic. The briefs package would have worked just fine with a clear visual separation between the two stories. Combining apples and oranges does not always work.Both DNA and The Telegraph used photo illustrations as main art. Although often clever and humorous it is preferable to move these illustrations to the inside pages.
Deccan Chronicle and the Indian Express, play both stories side by side, and above the fold, leading with the budget story, while refering to Sachin with an ASF or a stand alone. This is a good solution as well, but does not have the same visual impact as the two papers above. Indian Express missed the opportunity to give the readers some numbers to glance at. But overall a pretty strong presentation
Rajasthan newspaper attempts a creative and ambitious solution by
splitting the Front into upside down halves. When the paper is folded you get two half fronts.This gives equal play to two major stories but the photo half clearly overpowers the illustrated half. A better solution would have been to use similar visuals mirroring each other.
A number of papers divided the space almost evenly between the two stories, which lessens the impact of the big news day. Several papers used political cartoons which were often in competition with Sachin's photo. Using editorial cartoons on the Front is not always the best solution. Editorial cartoons should not have to compete with other photos on the page. Depending on the illustration style, most political cartoons work best when they are the only art on the page.
Finally I would also recommend avoiding puns in headlines.
We should have included the Business dalies here. Please see if you could review Budget Special Editions of all the business dailies from India
A brave attempt by Rajastan Patrika.
How many dailies in Kerala can do a graphic similar to the one in TOI ?