Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Discussion Point 1: Visual Hierarchy and grids

How has use of visual hierarchy and grid evolved with the emergence of digital technologies over the traditions qualities and potential constrains inherent in letterpress?

The use of visual hierarchy and grid has evolved with the emergence of digital technologies obviously, however they are still using the same traditional techniques— created ideas and rules, to develop.
Visual hierarchy and grid were developed from the traditional mediums, for example using it as a base for modern publications, and lots of designers build upon these conventional ideas.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung front page
from Feb. 10, 1993 via
In the Newspaper Design, we can see this evolvement very clear. As the development of technology, newspaper is not only producing in print, but also the online format. Print and Web are very different.
Traditional layout techniques from print, particularly an advanced formatting, aren't applicable to the Web as CSS doesn't offer sophisticated instruments to design such layout, such as text floating around an embedded image.
The emergence of digital technologies leads the newspaper design become more flexible and consistent across mediums. It allowed the design process to become much faster, especially in changing design elements.
At the same time the flexibility of the Web is hardly applicable to print as there is no way to customize a traditional periodical for reader’s convenience. Apart from that, online-reading is very different from offline-reading: in the latter both leading and the line length are usually much shorter.
Besides, there are some fundamental principles of data presentation which are often being used in both media (print and Web), for example, the use of white space and grid-based design. The results can be very similar, but often they have almost nothing at common.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung front page
from Feb. 10, 2013 via
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (Frankfurt General Newspaper) was awarded the prize for the “World’s Best-Designed Newspaper” by the News Design. This newspaper’s design concerned is the plain black ink and simply practical typefaces before, but now it is with the quality of the pictures, the illustrations and the texts, and it still remain the clear page, easy-to-read and easy-to-scan structure from the past.  


Friedman, V, (2008) ‘Award-Winning Newspaper Designs’, Smashing Magazine, <http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/02/11/award-winning-newspaper-designs/[Accessed 7th May, 2013].

Knapp, S, (2012) ‘Behind the World’s Best Designed: Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung’, SND, <http://www.snd.org/2012/05/behind-the-worlds-best-designed-frankfurter-allgemeine-sonntagszeitung/[Accessed 7th May, 2013].

Newsroom History, (2013) ‘Day of Design: 20 Years of Newspaper Design’, <http://newsroomhistory.com/newspaper/frankfurter-allgemeine-zeitung/> [Accessed 7th May, 2013].

Utko, J, (2009) ‘Designs to save newspapers’, TED, < http://www.ted.com/talks/jacek_utko_asks_can_design_save_the_newspaper.html[Accessed 7th May, 2013].

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