The Mario Blog
06.08.2012—11am
Introducing the Gulf News’ Weekend edition in Berliner format

TAKEAWAY: Introducing Gulf News’ Weekend edition in new Berliner format. ALSO: Take a look at Way C, the first African tablet

This is the Weekend Edition of TheMarioBlog and will be updated as needed. Next new blog post is Monday, June 11

Update #3 Houston, Friday, June 8, 14:05

TAKEAWAY: Introducing Gulf News’ Weekend edition in new Berliner format. ALSO: Take a look at Way C, the first African tablet

First Gulf News Weekend edition as Berliner is here

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This is our prototype for the Gulf News Weekend front page: a more dynamic navigator that has the flexibility to change from week to week, depending on stories.

All week we have shown you selected pages from Gulf News as it has made the transition from broadsheet to Berliner format.

Today will introduce you to the first Weekend edition in the new format.

Highlights of the Gulf News weekend

The front page of the Weekend edition tends to be more feature oriented, with emphasis on the special reportage, but with flexibility to allow for breaking news when it occurs.

As Miguel Gomez, design director, and I, created the concept, we wanted to allow for a very flexible and visual navigator at the top of the page, with what I call “slinky” possibilities. This means that the promo unit can stay in its default position, or it can have one of the elements in it become the lead visual element on the page.

It is all about flexibility for the printed newspaper, and we feel that this concept offers just that.

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Here is how Weekend edition looked in broadsheet before the June 1 switch of the Gulf News to Berliner format

Here are some of Friday’s pages from Gulf News:

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Follow ups: Numbers and storytelling

Our Thursday blog was devoted to the importance of including and highlighting numbers in stories. Massimo Gentile, design director of Il Secolo XIX, of Genoa, Italy, has sent us these samples where he turned to numbers as a main design element for pages of Il Secolo.

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The African iPad is born?

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Looks like the iPad will have a competitor in the African continent. If a young and inventive 26-year-old entrepeneur named Vérone Mankou has his way, his creation, called Way C —-which means “the light of the stars” in a dialect of northern Congo—will give Apple a run for its money.

Mankou is CEO of VMK, a new technology company based in Brazzaville, Congo.

He has created an app that will sell for about $300 and, as Mankou sees it, “it will bring Internet access to a large number of people.”

So let’s keep an eye on the African tablet, and, more importantly, on his creator, whom may soon be called the African Steve Jobs.

In a recent interview he gave his main reason for creating the Way C Tablet:

“We African cannot remain consumers for ever. We need to become producers. This is the vision that supported me since the beginning.”

Mankou has big plans: he would like for the Way-C tablet to be marketed in 10 countries in West Africa, and in Belgium, France and India.

Specifications: The Android tablet is a little smaller than the iPad, and weighs 380 g. It has a 1.2GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal memory and supports wifi. Battery life is 6 hours.

The Pop Up of the Day

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A fun pop up from German’s Bild today: Fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld’s cat plays with his iPad.

The iPad Design Lab: Storytelling in the Age of the Tablet

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Video walkthrough of the iPad prototype of iPad Design Lab

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