Mario Garcia



Why 3 Canadian newspapers gave up on the tablet edition

Post Media Tablet art (courtesy of Garcia Media)

Post Media Tablet art (courtesy of Garcia Media)

Those wonderfully produced tablet editions of the Postmedia group in Canada have ceased to exist. Yet, other tablet editions in Canada appear to thrive. What gives?

The Postmedia tablet editions are now history. They went from the infant to the toddler stage to the end in a relatively short period. They were barely learning how to walk!

Disclaimer: I was the consultant involved in the rethink of the Postmedia titles in 2013, which included new strategies across all platforms, including the creation of those evening tablet editions.

As one highly placed Postmedia executive described it for me this week:

“The surgery was a success, but the patient dies.” He added: “Audience just didn’t come.”

Good surgeons in such a situation will always do a good post-mortem to learn what went wrong and how to avoid similar outcomes. Read more


The Washington Post’s new website: print-inspired hierarchy

Without a doubt, perhaps one of the most appealing features of a printed newspaper page is how it can show hierarchy for the content it displays. When an editor and designer work together on establishing the priorities for content, then it is up to how typography, sizing of elements and positioning come together to indicate to the reader which is the most important story, as well as the rank and importance of those that follow.

A well-designed front page, for example, displays a Center of Visual Impact (CVI) that becomes the point of entrance on the page. That was the centerpiece of my own book Contemporary Newspaper Design (Prentice-Hall, 1981), where I wrote:

“The designer controls the way he wants the reader to proceed visually on the page.

Read more

The rise of the mobile editor

The mobile editor is becoming an essential position in a 21st century newsroom. (Flickr Photo by Michael Coghlan)

The mobile editor is becoming an essential position in a 21st century newsroom. (Flickr Photo by Michael Coghlan)

As the number of mobile readers climbs over 50 percent for many newspapers, it is logical that we would infuse mobile thinking throughout the newsroom. Yet, in a majority of newsrooms, the focus is not on mobile. Newsrooms need to start changing this by hiring a mobile editor.

The mobile editor should be sheriff to the news disseminating community.  Better yet, the mobile editor should be a sort of traffic cop, directing cars when the traffic lights are malfunctioning. The position should not be a transitional job that may eventually disappear. Quite the contrary, we are witnessing the infancy of that new position in the newsroom. Growth that involves authority and rank is how I see this position developing.  Read more


Time to start thinking of smartwatch mini-editions of your newspaper

“What’s your fascination with this Apple Watch, Mario?,” a long time colleague asked me when I ran into him at the WAN IFRA World Media Congress recently. “It’s your new toy, isn’t it?”

I admit that my Apple Watch and I have been inseparable since I got it five weeks ago. You could call it a toy, if you wish, but I don’t. I see it as a constant companion and personal assistant on my wrist. It is also a laboratory piece for the storyteller and designer in me as I immerse myself in the world of at-a-glance journalism.

That is what smartwatches are all about: glancing. We are not likely to spend longer than 5 seconds looking at our watch. We are not (yet) going to read long texts on the face of a watch. Read more


Quartz and storytelling lessons beyond editorial

This article has been republished, with permission, from To see more articles like this, check out their blog.

A  recent visit to the Quartz newsroom in New York City proves the point: here is a shop where a story first philosophy pays great dividends—and for advertising, too.

First, a disclaimer: We are true fans of everything that Quartz, Atlantic Media’s business news site, does.

This has been enhanced by a recent visit that I paid to the Quartz newsroom in New York City, and the grand personal tour that our art director Reed Reibstein and I got from Kevin Delaney, editor in chief & president of Quartz.

The moment we emerged from that visit and barely out on Park Avenue,  Reed told me something that I had noticed myself: This newsroom is such a textbook example of how a modern news operation should run that we can imagine many of the publishers, editors and designers we work with, coming for a one-week internship. Read more

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Financial Times: A classic redesign for the digital age

A version of this post originally appeared on Mario Garcia’s site. It has been reposted with his permission.

From time to time a newspaper redesign is announced that gets everyone on alert mode. Such is the case with the redesign unveiled today by the Financial Times. Let's take a look at the centerpieces of this project: the new fonts, the new grid, greater role of graphics and, overall, creating a print edition for the digital age.

The newly designed front page of the Financial Times

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Kevin Wilson, head of design at the Financial Times, teased me with a short mail that simply said: “Mario, it’s still pink and still a broadsheet”.

That’s good to know, but it was even better to sample some pages with the new design that Kevin sent me a couple of days ago. Read more


Excerpt from ‘iPad Design Lab’: How tablets allow us to disconnect

As Poynter releases the findings of its latest Eyetrack tablet research, we are also excerpting an abridged section from Mario Garcia’s new book, “iPad Design Lab.”

Storytelling is the one thing that has not changed, regardless of how many platforms we use to practice our craft. With a good story in hand, the rest becomes easy.

A medium in its infancy, the tablet affords us the opportunity to examine and discover as we create apps. We know users spend considerable time with it and prefer it as an evening companion.

I was struck, when designing my first tablet app, that I was designing for the brain, the eye and the finger — and all at the same time. I pay particular attention to the finger, which I consider both unforgiving and impatient: It wants to touch the screen and immediately get results. Read more


The March of the Tabloids

Everything makes a comeback. There is an eternal renaissance of essential things. In journalism, design, literature and art. Things tend to simplify themselves. As life in the big cities turns more chaotic, technology becomes more accessible with wireless, fast communication available to larger masses of the population. For the printed media, this translates into smaller formats, more reader-friendly for users who seek simpler storytelling, quicker messages, and who seem to prefer, as in everything else, the smaller packages.

In the case of newspapers, we have had to wait a long time and climb a steep mountain to get to this exciting moment in which more newspapers are looking at smaller formats as an option. For many, it is already a reality. Conversion from broadsheet to tabloid has paid off: Readers like it, advertisers get used to it faster than anyone thought, and the “wave” of tabloid conversions extends globally. Read more


A Personal Journey — and Hint of Revolution — in Moscow

I arrived in Moscow on a cold and snowy February morning last week, and felt as if I was 43 years late getting here. But the wait was worth it.

You see, I ALMOST came to Russia when I was 13, in 1961. It was the beginning of Fidel Castro’s arrival in Cuba, and, as a child actor, I played a meaty secondary role in a film titled “The Young Rebel,” one of the first films made by the Cuban Cinematographic Institute under Castro. As the film prepared for its premiere, my parents were informed that I would have to fly to Moscow, to a film festival, for the celebrations.

That is all my father had to hear to secure a visa and a ticket for me to get on a Pan American Airways flight to Miami. Read more


Garcia: Redesigns Involve More than Cojones

The re-launch of The Miami Herald has created much enthusiasm and buzz in the industry. Along with that has come a centerpiece story published on Poynter Online in which I was quoted expressing some thoughts on the re-design process of the Herald.

I said sometimes drastic changes do not take place in newspapers or other organizations because management lacks the cojones to do it. In no way was this meant to single out specifically my colleagues at The Miami Herald with whom I had a wonderful collaboration for one full year.

I still maintain that most newspapers should consider a tabloid format and I am very well aware that sometimes more than cohones comes into the decision not to do so.

It would be inaccurate to describe the process undertaken at the Herald for the past year as a mere “redesign.” The term redesign implies purely cosmetic exercises, where typography or colors are changed, but nothing more. Read more

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