Well-known design consultants Lucie Lacava and Hans Peter Janisch comments on this subject exclusively for www.newspaperdesign.ning.com
Redesign will let the content shine:Lucie Lacava
A perfect redesign is Custom tailored (with a capital C) to the needs of the publication.Some newspapers will need a complete redesign, rethinking of the news presentation, and restructuring of the newsroom. Others might already be doing a great job in the newsroom and just need a typographic facelift, and a minor realignment everywhere else. Like a diamond in the rough, a redesign will let the content shine. Not every paper needs a complete makeover. As the expression goes "don't throw out the baby with the bath water". You can redesign the Coca Cola brand but do not throw out the secret formula. Traditional print media and digital media can excel and co-exist, the news can be repurposed and distributed across multiple platforms. What newspapers need most today, is to redesign their business model in order to remain profitable.
Its a complete renovation:Peter Hans
A perfect redesign... seems to be a redesign, where changes happen "on both sides of the table". A few years back, a redesign first of all meant a change for the readers. The newspaper changed the design and in some cases improved the content. Editorial work itself stayed more or less the same. A redesign today stands for more. If it is limited to graphic changes it is bound to fail. In a changing media environment editorial work must change as well, to meet the needs of a new readership. And in many cases, the changes in the newsroom are much harder to realize. Some of the best redesigns nowadays often stand for a complete restart. A new chance to rethink everything. And I am not only talking about graphic presentations and content of the newspaper. Such a restart includes the reorganization of the newsroom as well as a new way to create the newsflow between the printed and multimedia channnels. In many cases this is done best in a new working environment. I just had the chance to be part of such a complete renovation. It was with a street sale paper where the ownership changed. The new publisher extended the editorial staff and hired 20 new editors. A new art director together with six new page designers also were employed. The newspaper moved into a new building, where a state of the art newsroom was build. And of course, a new editorial system was installed, that included the presentation for web, mobile platforms as well as the paper. So no stone had been left unturned. The main goal was to attract a young readership, create a new newsplatform for the urban street. And it worked out. After 5 days on the market, the street sale was increased by almost 20%. Of course, it was not easy at all for the editors. But it was a rewarding experience, being part of such a huge recreation. It will be hard for me to go back to simple graphic redesigns...