The Mario Blog
How we did it: Pure Design case study of Die Zeit

TAKEAWAY: Today Pure Design’s installment: case study of our work with the iconic German newspaper, Die Zeit. PLUS: Moonstruck: we continue to show you the best pages celebrating man’s landing on the moon 40 years ago AND: Dele Olojede writes about Next for the Financial Times

Updated in Dusseldorf, Wednesday, July 22, 16:55

TAKEAWAY: Today Pure Design’s installment: case study of our work with the iconic German newspaper, Die Zeit. PLUS: Moonstruck: we continue to show you the best pages celebrating man’s landing on the moon 40 years ago AND: Dele Olojede writes about Next for the Financial Times

blog post image

Pure Design: case study of Die Zeit, my most challenging project ever

When people asked which was my most difficult project, I usually don’t hesitate. After more than 570 projects now completed, Die Zeit still takes the coveted prize of “most demanding, most challenging” project ever. After all, it is not everyday that one gets to transform an iconic, legendary newspaper. To do it in Germany added to the challenge. Germans loved Die Zeit as it was: mostly text, except for a couple of black and white illustrations; long pieces written by the best writers. Professors assigned Die Zeit as required reading for their students, whether the topic was science or humanities.

So, to get in there, roll up your sleeves, and introduce color, photography, bigger illustrations—-and, yes, slightly shorter texts——was not the easiest task in the world.

But it happened. Die Zeit went on to win coveted design awards from SND (Society of News Design) , which picked it among the best five designed newspapers in the world; other organizations worldwide honored it as well. It also became one of the most commercially successful in Germany.
Today, Die Zeit remains a weekly thing of beauty. Art directors have come and gone, each adding interesting touches to the design, enhancing it, making it better.

Most importantly today: Die Zeit may represent the best existing example of the printed newspaper of the future—-appears weekly, is full of interesting, well written pieces which analyze, interpret and dissect topics in a variety of subjects. It is a gift to the eyes. It spells gravitas, seriousness and credibility.

Die Zeit did it first. Its editors were always convinced that they worked for a special publication. Design helped to make it better. And, yes, doing it was not easy at all.

Open publication – Free publishingMore websites

Download entire first section of Pure Design: Words

Now that I have fully presented the first of six sections of Pure Design on TheMarioBlog, I am offering the entire initial section, “Words,” available for download—all 33 pages of it. This may be useful for those of you saving or printing out Pure Design and will be done following each of the remaining sections. At the end of our journey through words, type, layout, color, pictures, and process, I will publish the entirety of Pure Design in one file.

Open publication – Free publishingMore websites

Dele Olojede writes about his pet project: Nigeria’s new newspaper NEXT

blog post image
Here is prototype of how the daily Next of Lagos, Nigeria, which premieres in August, will look

blog post image
These are recent front pages of Next on Sunday

I am headed for Lagos, Nigeria in a few days, as we prepare to launch the daily edition of Nigeria’s new newspaper, Next. The Sunday edition, Next on Sunday, was already launched January 4, along with its website

Dele Olojede, Next’s publisher, and a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist for international reporting, tells the story of this amazing newspaper launch in the Financial Times today:,dwp_uuid=9e5befe2-74d9-11de-8ad5-00144feabdc0.html

We posted a blog about Next on Sunday recently:

Good news in the newspaper front

Happy to read that McClatchy, the company that publishes The Sacramento Bee as well as 29 other newspapers, including The Miami Herald, has
more than double its second-quarter earnings, even while its advertising revenue fell by 30 percent.

Could this signal the often mentioned green sprouts in the midst of what has been a very gray and somber economy?

For complete story:

– USA: McClatchy doubles Q2 earnings

Extra! Extra! All About Moon Landing

blog post image
Il Secolo XIX of Genoa, Italy, went beyond the front page to include a double page treatment inside about the moon landing—courtesy of Design Director Massimo Gentile

blog post imageblog post image
Moon pages from Reformatorisch Dagblad (The Netherlands). Sent by Henk de Boer

blog post image

blog post image

blog post image

blog post image
Newsday of Long Island, New York turns to the future with its headline

That lady up there has not lost her ability to seduce us. Forty years after man first landed on the moon, we are still moonstruck. I have been checking how many newspapers worldwide are playing up the 40th anniversary of man’s landing on the moon right on Page One. Some of these appear here.

Send me your “moon” page pdfs as I wish to celebrate the occasion in our blog as well.

blog post image

Follow me at

Follow the Marios

blog post image
Two Marios. Two Views.
Follow Mario Jr. and his blog about media analysis, web design and assorted topics related to the current state of our industry.
Visit Mario Sr. daily here, or through TweetsByDesign (

In Spanish daily: The Rodrigo Fino blog

:blog post image
To read TheRodrigoFino blog, in Spanish, go:

TheMarioBlog posting #312

Blog Post09.22.2017—4am
Mexican earthquake: front pages tell the story
Blog Post09.21.2017—1am
Saying adios to The Village Voice in print
Blog Post09.20.2017—1am
Vogue in print: “point of view, attitude”
Blog Post09.19.2017—1am
The Boston Scene
Blog Post09.18.2017—1am
Thoughts on print: still here, still full of surprises, worthy of attention
Blog Post09.15.2017—1am
New report: For publishers, Facebook is no revenue panacea
Blog Post09.14.2017—1am
Smartphones and web traffic: where the action is
Blog Post09.13.2017—1am
Paris Match: a good visit and big plans
Blog Post09.12.2017—1am
Irma: the morning after
Blog Post09.11.2017—3am
Irma: the bad girl on every front page
Blog Post09.08.2017—1am
Type Magazine: the new Roger Black project
Blog Post09.06.2017—1am
Linear storytelling for mobile: a good example
Blog Post09.05.2017—1am
For Le Journal de Montreal: article page acts like home page, sort of
Blog Post09.01.2017—1am
Facebook the new front page?
Blog Post08.31.2017—1am
When it comes to news, “designer labels” can make the difference
Blog Post08.30.2017—1am
Those fabulous print glossy ads
Blog Post08.29.2017—1am
From here and there: what the email basket brings
Blog Post08.28.2017—1am
Why I would show this Times Mag cover to my class
Blog Post08.24.2017—1am
A caricature for the ages
Blog Post08.23.2017—1am
It was the day Americans looked up!
Blog Post08.22.2017—1am
It was all about the solar eclipse of the century
Blog Post08.21.2017—1am
A day without local news? In Minnesota, readers experience it
Blog Post08.18.2017—1am
The good news about print (in the USA)
Blog Post08.17.2017—1am
What’s your lead story right this minute?
Blog Post08.16.2017—1am
Panama’s La Prensa: workshop digital media, day 2
Blog Post08.15.2017—1am
Panama’s La Prensa: digital workshop
Blog Post08.14.2017—1am
Millennials still like their Facebook
Blog Post08.11.2017—1am
All about the Eclipse: the Times nailed it.
Blog Post08.10.2017—1am
It’s the Monocle printed newspaper again
Blog Post08.09.2017—1am
Who pays for news, and who believes the news? Report tells us
Blog Post08.08.2017—1am
Workshops: linear visual storytelling
Blog Post08.07.2017—1am
For newspaper print editions: the power of the headline
Blog Post08.04.2017—1am
Behold the iPad: it’s still part of the media quintet
Blog Post08.03.2017—1am
At the NYTimes: push for customized content moves forward
Blog Post08.02.2017—1am
The Mooch’s quick departure on the front pages
Blog Post08.01.2017—1am
At The New York Times: aggressively pushing digital subscriptions
Blog Post07.31.2017—1am
Thoughts while on vacation
Blog Post07.14.2017—1am
Local newspapers, new digital strategies that work
Blog Post07.13.2017—1am
The Donald Jr. Russian story: It’s somewhere on that front page
Blog Post07.12.2017—1am
Ecuador: where print still dominates
Contact us with speaking requests, questions or to discuss a project.