The Mario Blog
03.31.2010—9am
Times of Oman goes for total rethinking, redesign

TAKEAWAY: This Sunday, the Times of Oman will start a new chapter in its history with the unveiling of a new design, reorganization of content, and even a new logo. ALSO: Monocle Radio show Sunday: all about newspapers: Mario joins Tyler Brulé and guests PLUS: New Romania Libera pages

blog post image

Update #5: Wednesday, March 31, 11:53 EST

TAKEAWAY: This Sunday, the Times of Oman will start a new chapter in its history with the unveiling of a new design, reorganization of content, and even a new logo. ALSO: Monocle Radio show Sunday: all about newspapers: Mario joins Tyler Brulé and guests PLUS: New Romania Libera pages

What’s new with Times of Oman?

blog post image
Before and after front pages of Times of Oman: notice change of logo

blog post image
A variation of the new front page of Times of Oman

blog post image
Extra (lifestyle) section front

blog post image
Today in Oman opening page: leads to Extra and Connect (classifieds)

blog post image
Sports section front

blog post image
E-times (technology) section front

Several of our readers have been asking why so much attention was given to Al Shabiba and its logo, while the Times of Oman was also undergoing change, including its logo.

Obviously, the Times of Oman logo—-now a pill box, in red—-did not present us with the challenges of the Arabic-language logo of Al Shabiba, which have consumed much of our last four days.

However, it does not mean that T of O is less important or inspiring to all of us involved in the task.

A little history

Jan Kny (Garcia Media Europe) and I started working with a redesign of the Times of Oman exactly two and a half years ago. Three art directors later, we now have Adonis Durado as design director, and, he, in turn has hired an accomplished team of designers, info graphic and illustration artists and the environment was more conducive for us to do our work.

The Times of Oman that will see the light Sunday, April 4, has also rethought its content presentation: there are three sections now, as follows:

First section, international news and opinion.
Second section, Today in Oman, with Extra (lifestyle) and Connect(classifieds)
Third section, Market (business and finance), Sports

Key points of the redesign

Typographic scheme:

Text: Sentinel
Lead headlines on each page: Sentinel
Secondary headlines: Vitesse
Accents: Tungsten
(All fonts from Hoefler & Frere-Jones—www.typography.com)

New page size:
31.5 cm x 57.8 cm

Navigation: Each section front navigates readers to inside content, and always a “Three not to miss” box appears as well.

Color on every page: With a new printing press, the Times of Oman, and Al Shabiba, can now
afford color capability on all pages. The printing machine is City Line Express / Made in India.

Times of Oman and Al Shabiba CEO, Mr. Ahmed sums it up best:

“Our readers will see two very different newspapers this Sunday. Each has its uniqueness, and Times of Oman is not a translation of Al Shabiba or vice versa.
We want to make sure that the design distinction also points out content distinctions, because to us they are very present in how we crteate the paper”

Advertising innovation

blog post image
Three of the various ad positions available to advertisers: L, S and Frame structures

Part of the rethinking of both Al Shabiba and Times of Oman includes new approaches to advertising, selling such positions as S, L and U shape ads; island ads; silent ads, as well as belt and frame ads, some of which are shown here.

“Advertisers will find that the new products are thinking of them as well. We want the advertising community to see possibilities with our newspapers beyond the traditional placement of ads,” Mr. Ahmed said.

At a gala dinner to introduce the two redesigned products Monday night, members of the advertising communities declared that they liked what they saw and would be willing to start trying out the new ad positions.

Times of Oman, Al Shabiba: new look starts Sunday, April 4

blog post image
Prototype front pages for Times of Oman and Al Shabiba

blog post image
Al Shabiba front page as it is today (left), new design as of Sunday, April 4

Follow up to the Al Shabiba Logo: remarks from designer Lucie Lacava

My colleague Lucie Lacava, whose own portfolio of newspaper design includes the Arab language UAE daily, Al Itijad, sends me her comments about Al Shabiba. I wrote Lucie yesterday seeking her views, as I knew she had probably faced similar challenges in Abu Dhabi:

> It is fascinating to see the evolution of the logo and I can certainly appreciate the attention to detail one must pay to the position and shape of dots in arabic calligraphy which can render a word illegible if absent or misplaced.
I like the combination of the Kufi sans with the calligraphic “sheen”, it is very dynamic. I am in favour of the flame being selected over the more classic dots version, after all it is a logo. A logo must be distinctive. It must reinforce the brand. A logo must be legible but not necessarily read every time we pick up the paper. A logo graces the front page just like a painting graces a room. At first we notice admire and interpret every stroke, and eventually it become part of the whole.Congratulations on your latest relaunches, Al Shabiba looks good!

Monocle Radio this Sunday: newspaper show

blog post image

blog post image

Once again, I am honored to be a guest of Tyler Brulé’s Monocle Radio show. The show, which airs Sunday, April 4, includes the following other guests: Simon Kelner, managing director of The Independent (London), who discusses the recent sale of the newspaper and the future of the daily newspaper; Goerge Brock, head of Journalism at City University, London, about whether the importance we’re placing on the medium is overtaking the quality of the message when it comes to how we receive our news. Also, Raul Juste Lores, business and economics editor of Folha de Sao Paulo, who talks about the rise of the printed newspaper in Brazil.

The show airs at 1200 CET, Sunday, April 4.

For more information : www.monocle.com

Two weeks after relaunch: Romania Libera doing well

blog post image

blog post image

Romania Libera art director, Catalin Dumitri sends us pdfs of several pages of the past few days. As you know, we laucnhed RL”s new look in Bucharest last March 15. The reports are that readers and advertisers like the new look. These pages show that the team is becoming more comfortable with the new concept.

Amalia Badescu, marketing director at Romania Libera, reports that the launch party held earlier this week was a smashing success, with more than 400 in attending. As I could not be there, I prepared a video introducing the new look.

Those interested in seeing a gallery of photos of the event, and my own video, go here:

Mario’s video introducing the new design:
http://www.romanialibera.ro/multimedia-video/mario-garcia-despre-noua-romanie-libera-181577.html)

Gallery of photos of the launch party
http://www.romanialibera.ro/multimedia-foto/petrecerea-de-relansare-a-romaniei-libere-181651.html

TheMarioBlog post #523
Blog Post01.23.2018—1am
The new FT campaign
Blog Post01.22.2018—1am
Are we using better photos today?
Blog Post01.19.2018—1am
The challenge of that fold
Blog Post01.18.2018—1am
The Washington Post: another profitable year
Blog Post01.17.2018—1am
Did I really read that much?
Blog Post01.15.2018—4am
The Guardian changes more than just the format
Blog Post—1am
Are vulgar words now part of a journalist’s styleguide?
Blog Post01.12.2018—4pm
The new New York Times campaign
Blog Post01.11.2018—1am
The good news about paying for content
Blog Post01.08.2018—3pm
Prof. Miguel Urabayen (1926-2018): Tribute to a grand maestro
Blog Post—2pm
Fire & Fury: Here’s a cover that tells more of the story
Blog Post—1am
End of print edition for Montreal’s La Presse
Blog Post01.07.2018—11am
Happy New Year…..I am back, sort of
Blog Post12.19.2017—10am
My prediction for 2018: we will write, edit & design for mobile
Blog Post12.13.2017—1am
Best wishes for the holiday season!
Blog Post12.12.2017—1am
Every year should be year of the audience
Blog Post12.11.2017—1am
The Post Most: curated content as easy as 1-2-3
Blog Post12.08.2017—1am
The power of a comic
Blog Post12.07.2017—1am
Those European ePapers Continue Growing
Blog Post12.06.2017—1am
Journalism students and print (not a romance)
Blog Post12.05.2017—1am
The nuances of using ragged right type
Blog Post12.04.2017—1am
Monocle’s habit-forming daily briefing
Blog Post12.01.2017—1am
2018: More digital everything, more of the Trump factor
Blog Post11.30.2017—1am
That time of the year to think what next
Blog Post11.29.2017—1am
Apple goes romantic
Blog Post11.28.2017—1am
E-mail newsletters can be a real seductive hook
Blog Post11.27.2017—8am
An e-newsletter with visual appeal
Blog Post11.21.2017—1am
So 2017 was really NOT the year of video……
Blog Post11.20.2017—1am
The New York Times: the Spanish weekly
Blog Post11.17.2017—5am
Paywalls, storytelling highlight Latin American conference
Blog Post11.15.2017—5am
In Argentina: the hot topic is “paywalls”
Blog Post11.14.2017—1am
The NY Times’ Jobs Classified: Really?
Blog Post11.13.2017—1am
At The New York Times: a kids section on Sunday
Blog Post11.10.2017—12am
“I read it on Facebook.”
Blog Post11.09.2017—12am
The flow of a breaking new story in the mobile era
Blog Post11.08.2017—12am
When content hits the spot
Blog Post11.07.2017—12am
When hierarchy makes a statement
Blog Post11.06.2017—12am
When the advertising wraps around
Blog Post11.03.2017—1am
New Hebrew fonts from Typotheque
Blog Post11.02.2017—1am
Favorite branding logos? No surprises
Contact us with speaking requests, questions or to discuss a project.