I saw this post today on core77 and I thought it was a great story to share it with our readers. I’m sure you’ve all heard the notion that “print is a dying medium.” Advertising in print is down, and seems to continue declining, because more people are going online to read content.

So what do we do? Do we just write Print’s obituary and sit around remembering it fondly, or do we try to salvage it? A brand new daily publication in Portugal, simply titled i, is trying something new and they are getting positive results. i‘s circulation had increased from 11,000 in May to 16,000 in August.

So how are they doing it?

i is not structured like a traditional paper. The paper’s team worked with media consultancy Innovation to come up with a new way to organise the product. “Our feeling was,” said Figueiredo, who came on board at an early stage, moving from Diário Económico, “that people were not concerned about traditional sections any more. Traditionally, journalists have to fill a politics section even if there is nothing relevant going on in politics. We wanted to come up with something different.” So the team came up with five key needs that they wanted the paper to address, with five key words.

A New Design

Apart from restructuring the content, they’ve also broken away from the traditional minimal design of a newspaper and they have gone for a more magazine-like approach.

Nick Mrozowski, i’s American art director, said that “I think the overriding concept, not just in the design but in the newspaper as a whole, is that we want to try to set out to produce a magazine every day.” The 56- to 64-page paper is tabloid size and stapled, so looks as much like a magazine as a newspaper.

A huge amount of work goes into designing the paper every day. At first, Mrozowski explained, the idea was that the paper would have a template that would leave some pages fixed each time, meaning that some pages would require no design work on a daily basis and that editors would simply put their content into the pre-designed format. “But from day one that strategy fell apart,” he said. “We realised that the sort of paper we were making had a lot of very specialised content and each page would have to be custom-made to the needs of a reporter or editor.”

Of course this appeals to me as a graphic designer but I wonder if this can become too much work to keep up with. By restructuring their content areas they were able to alleviate the need to fill up whole sections with worthless news, but now I feel that the pressure to deliver has been transferred over to the design aspect of the newspaper. Only time will tell if this proves to be the case. I really hope this newspaper continues to be successful. I hope it inspires other newspapers.

Read the full article on www.editorsweblog.org

This video is in Portuguese with English subtitles.