The financial daily’s team spent a year analysing the best way to edit and design the print edition of a newspaper in the mobile era. Now the new front page of Handelsblatt has premiered.
We at Garcia Media are proud of our involvement with Handelsblatt for more than two decades, with various projects that have involved, among others, the major format conversion from broadsheet to tabloid, which the newspaper referred to it as “business format”.
Today, Handelsblatt introduces what editor-in-chief Sebastian Matthes refers to as a ‘refresh’. Here is how Sebastian explained it to readers:
‘Like the economy, the Handelsblatt is constantly evolving. That’s why our newspaper will look different from Monday: We will appear with a refreshed layout and a new structure. In this way, we want to focus more on the economic issues that affect companies and politics most intensively and at the same time dovetail the print edition even better with our podcasts, newsletters and events.
Content and reorganisation
One element that stands out in this visual rethink of Handelsblatt is the detailed thinking that went into the reorganisation of and introduction of new content, a process guided by Sebastian with every member of his team. I was happy to participate, along with design director, Michel Becker, so that content led to the visual choices we made.
At the centre of our visual thinking:
-Maintain the level of design elegance that has been a trademark of Handelsblatt for years.
-Emphasise hierarchy on every page.
-Create a visual environment in which longer pieces are made easier and more -
-Use of bigger photos and illustrations.
-Improved use of infographics.
-A table of contents that is visual and where we migrated digital ideas (as in a map to locate where correspondents are reporting from each day)
-Different approaches to storytelling, including occasional use of lists and snippets to facilitate presenting key facts of a story.
The creative director’s challenge
In the words of design director Michel Becker:
‘For me, the biggest challenge was to visually represent the new structure of Handelsblatt. And to find a system for the different contents that unifies them but still differentiates them. For example, we now have opinion and commentary visually highlighted, and present the authors better.
‘At the same time, we look more visually appealing and retain the proven elegance.’
The editor introduces key content improvements
Expanding international reporting
‘In view of global uncertainties, we are expanding our international reporting, which is expressed in the new structure right at the beginning of the newspaper, in the political section. Reports from our worldwide network of correspondents will be placed more prominently there in future.
‘At the same time, we are also significantly expanding our network of guest authors. The most recent additions are the former ambassador and former chairman of the Munich Security Conference, Wolfgang Ischinger, and security policy expert Claudia Major from the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik.
More on technology
‘In addition, we emphasise our reports and analyses on technological upheavals in our own columns and sections. Because the Handelsblatt wants to expand its position as an early indicator for the most important economic and technological developments.
Analysis of geopolitical tensions
‘The current geopolitical tensions are accompanied by countless breakthroughs and upheavals in companies all over the world. Because in uncertainty, a lot of new things emerge. And we know from the past that many of the really big ideas emerge in the middle of the really big crises. In Handelsblatt we will accompany and describe these major changes in industry and in small and medium-sized businesses and classify them in political, entrepreneurial and technological contexts.
The people behind the news
‘We always want to introduce the people behind these changes. That’s why the portraits of the people in business, of the entrepreneurs and researchers, move forward from the magazine to the departments. Because business is made by people.
Expanded coverage of companies
‘Reports on banks, insurance companies and real estate groups have always been part of the Handelsblatt’s DNA. They are now at the front of the company department. In the financial section, on the other hand, we concentrate even more on market events, financing trends, innovations and the monetary policy of the international central banks. After all, the turbulence on the international financial markets is more likely to increase than decrease. The figures show that our readers are more interested in these topics than ever before.
New section on global finance and commodity markets
‘At the end of the newspaper you will therefore find a significantly expanded section on developments on the international financial and commodity markets. There we examine market movements, analyse the most important charts – and explain how investors can navigate through the turbulent times.’
The new look
Today the print edition displays the new look on which we have worked for about a year. Digital design changes are in the making for introduction later in 2023.
The front page
The table of contents page
Visuals and graphics
The last page
The Handelsblatt H, with its orange background, will be utilised more prominently across the newspaper, both in its print and digital editions.
As used in the Table of Contents page
Reproduced with permission.