When someone approaches a design firm, they don’t often expect to be presented with anything more than a visual outcome. But most of our projects, in one way or another, have been about significant change. Even if our clients aren’t initially conscious of it, during the course of working with us questions such as ‘How can we get the most out of our art department?’ or ‘What can we do to change the way our editors think?’ or ‘How can you leave us with a better way of using our resources?’ are invariably asked, and answered. Above all else, we use our experience in design to enable change or innovation in business.
When we first started working with newspapers, we were surprised by the disconnect between the ambitious briefing we’d be given, and the bolted-down working relationships of staff who didn’t see why they needed to change anything. We realised we needed to understand the culture change issues that would allow our designs to be used to their optimum by the staff. We also realised how important it was to form close working relationships with top-tier staff to create, position and re-think their publications.
Working closely in an open and conversational way with key stakeholders allows us to develop engaging and lasting outcomes for each project, and to deliver the best of our design, editorial and cultural experience. Whether it be for a newspaper launch, magazine redesign, culture change program or business card.
This is exactly what happened when we were engaged as visual consultants to help start-up the Jakarta Globe newspaper project.
From the West, where the business model for quality journalism is clearly failing, the countries of a growing Asia are a bright, energetic and optimistic growth-market. We were privileged to be a part of that rare thing... a newspaper start-up.
We worked with a group of top-level consultants from around the region to turn the proprietor’s ambitious dream of a new, high quality daily newspaper into reality.
Combining technical, editorial and systems design thinking, we turned a typically abstract design brief into a series of options that we could use as a ‘visual argument’. We pursued three main options that went from the futuristic to the authoritative.
Aside from the physical product, we also used our deep knowledge of the technical, structural and design detail required for a hard-working product like a newspaper to consult on everything from the office fit-out to the newsroom floor-plan, to key staff and training programs. And of course ensuring that the final product would tell stories that spoke in the clearest voice to their audience.
Since its launch, the Jakarta Globe has won numerous design and editorial awards.