Will newspaper tabloid conversions finally take off?

newspaper tabloid design, tabloid conversion and tabloid redesign samples

It’s not quite a tab, but a new smaller shape is being considered by several U.S. publishers of broadsheet newspapers, reports Poynter Online this week. This report has caused a bit of a stir and led to a number of inquiries asking: is now the time when we move closer to tabloid in the States?

Of course tabs have been quite popular around the world, but overall, slow to catch on in the States. Here, publishers have cited concerns about the preference of some readers to share distinct sections of the segmented broadsheet paper, as well as worries from broadsheet advertisers who don’t care to see their message shrink. (A full-page ad in broadsheet is twice as large as in tab, after all.)

But economic realities (the cost of newsprint) and production issues (the gradual conversion of some presses which may print for multiple clients) will demand the consideration of new, smaller shapes.

Here are some resources for those considering a conversion to tabloid:

Recently I worked with a U.S. client for a week on-site, talking them through the ramifications across departments of a conversion to tabloid. This has led to several inquiries for a new service I’m offering this year: limited consulting where I work with your staff to prototype a tabloid edition (or several variations), either over-the-shoulder or by providing full prototyping and editing services. This is a critical first step in any consideration of a move to a smaller format – reevaluating your broadsheet ingredients for a different shape, size, scale. It’s not just a matter of putting things in a smaller box – navigation and pacing are paramount in a successful tab design, and they are quite different than in broadsheet.

To inquire, email ron (at) ronreason.com

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