Gorgeous design, newspapers and Hoodzpah

This talk isn’t brand new, but I love it. In it, designer Jacek Utko talks about how he turned a group of Eastern European newspapers upside-down, blowing up traditional news design in favor of dramatic illustrations, typography, bold photography and infographics. “I wanted to make posters,” he says.

Here’s the kicker: “You can live in a small, poor country and work for a small company in a boring branch,” Utko says. “You can have no budget, no people, but still can put your work to the highest possible level… to be good is not enough.”

Looking at the front pages on a site like Newseum shows that most newspapers are stuck in a ridiculous rut with design. They follow formulaic templates and some — even worse — publish “grip-and-grin” photographs. I shudder. I know there are plenty of amazing designers out there. Actually, I’m pretty sure there were people in my Media Design 300 class that could design better than some of these mid-sized papers. What does that say? The companies that own newspapers aren’t prioritizing design. But they really should.

Speaking of great design, I couldn’t not mention my friends Amy and Jen Hood, who have started a design company called Hoodzpah. I got to work with the Hoods, along with the ethereal Blythe Hill, at the now-defunct OC Gazette. I have been hoping to collaborate with these lovely ladies on a project for some time. Every time I see their work I stare in awe and jealousy at their artistic skills. They’re amazing. I’ll just show you, and then you’ll be inspired to check out their beautiful and hip website:

Jen and Amy — Sorry I stole your stuff. It was all in the name of shameless promotion. 🙂


4 thoughts on “Gorgeous design, newspapers and Hoodzpah

  1. awww!!! alex, thank you! i still stand by the truth that you were OC Gazette’s best writer. We def have to work together again. Maybe the next time Daily Pilot needs a design overhaul? haha. Fab blog btw. I’ve never seen this video. Inspiring.

    All the best,

  2. I fully support thieving in the name of shameless promotion! Thank you SO much for the oh-so-kind words :). I hope we get to work together soon too! We were a great team weren’t we!?

  3. I saw Jen’s post on facebook about this so I came to check it out- I was so surprised to get a shout out! And to be called ‘ethereal’! You’re so sweet, Alex!

    But, back to Jen and Amy: they’re the sort of people that somehow make me want to give up any sort of creative endeavor AND simultaneously devote my life to it. All that to say, they’re flipping awesome. Great post!

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