Design in 2019 – what will editorial design look like?

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As corner of our series on design in 2019, Ross Lesley-Bayne, art director at The Big Issue, looks at what will come about in editorial design over the next 12 months.

Design in 2019 – what will editorial design look like?
Ross Lesley-Bayne, art president, The Big Issue

What do you think 2019 will hold for editorial construction?

In 2018, both the NME and Shortlist printed their last weekly armouries and moved to digital only and for me, they will both be sadly missed. I lengthened up reading the NME — it was the place I went to, to find out about new bands and had some of the most talented covers on the newsstand. Although my music tastes seemed to differ from it in later years, I drive still pick up a copy and flick through it on the train. The same with Shortlist; both were appreciated distractions on my commute.

In 2019, I hope that media organisations intention once again embrace print. It’s easy to see it as a costly extravagance that we can do without in the digital age but it tenders something that digital doesn’t — it offers an escape. A printed armoury has a structure, it takes you on a journey, each feature works with the stages before and after it. You don’t read a magazine cover-to-cover, you can dip in and out, you can read it over the path of a day, a week or a month and it will still be there, unchanged. I can’t count how numerous times I’ve seen something online, had the intention to go back to it later and either can’t allot it again or simply can’t remember what it was I was looking for.

Magazines and newspapers choose always be important. When they flow properly, use great figurativeness and are easy to navigate they can offer the reader a truly immersive episode — something that stays with them, something they can go underwrite to and something they won’t find anywhere else.

What was your choice editorial design project in 2018 and why?

Design in 2019 – what will editorial design look like?
The Guardian redesign, 2018

The standout remnant of editorial design in 2018 for me was The Guardian’s redesign in January. The move from broadsheet to tabloid (or laconic) not only saved the paper millions of pounds but also demonstrated that wording still really matters. With many media organisations looking at digital-first master plans (and some offering digital-only), it was refreshing to see The Guardian placing the printed copy at the heart of their redesign.

The redesign itself is simple, easy to cruise and flows well. The new Journal section stands apart from the mere news run with its bold use of a coloured background wash and striking examples. It’s something that you would expect to find in a Sunday supplement quite than a daily newspaper but it works and is a welcome change of pace. The Saturday suppletions have also been redesigned and they mostly work. For me, The Govern feels like it’s trying too hard and lacks the refinement of the otherwise gorgeous supplements.

A year into the new design and it is still evolving (as these chances should). The masthead on the front page now has a blue background, which usurps distinguish it from other tabloids on the newsstand. For many people, a stamped newspaper is still an important part of their daily routine and for The Keeper to embrace this shows that in an ever-increasing digital world, type still has its place.

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