Media Magazine

Diamonds Are Also This Front Page’s Best Friend

Posted on the 21 February 2013 by Themarioblog @garciainteract

TAKEAWAY: What a treat to see the front page of the Frankfurter Allgemeine having fun with an old fashioned diamond heist, a forever alluring Marilyn Monroe, and turning yesterday’s story into today’s visual surprise. Bravo, FAZ.

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Here is Wednesday’s front page of Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine, all black and white, a sea of text, with only one image: Marilyn Monroe.  Enough to lure us.

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The one photo on the page dominates the top half of the front page for the Frankfurter Allgemeine

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Close up of the Marilyn Monroe photo with the headline: Diamonds are not only a girl’s best friend (referring to the Hollywood style diamond heist at the Brussels airport this week, and sending readers to read more inside)

Tuesday’s daring and Hollywood-style robbery of about $50 million worth in diamonds as they were loaded onto the cargo hold of a passenger airline at Brussels’ international airport was a breaking news alert beeping on our phones.  A day later, it has made the front pages of many newspapers globally.

In most of these front pages, the story carries the usual elements: headline, quotes from airport officials, and the narrative of how the thieves dressed themselves as policemen, opened a hole thru a fence, entered the airport tarmac and walked away thru the same hole with their precious cargo, disappearing into the afternoon, and probably crossing all those no longer supervised borders between European countries. They remain at large.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine sets the example

One newspaper, however, managed to offer the visual surprise, with a very sweet, visually appealing and unexpected front page coverage of the story most of all knew about it by the time that front page was printed.

Germany’s Franfurter Allgemeine Wednesday edition was all black and white, mostly text and as classic as a Balenciaga dress, but offering the best visual coverage of this story—-and , in the process, teaching us a valuable lesson about the way print newspapers should cover these breaking news that are “old” when they appear as ink on paper.

Indeed, on the FAZ’s front page, a photo of always popular and sexy Marilyn Monroe, dripping with diamonds, the ones she made forever popular in her Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend iconic rendition.

The FAZ ran a small headline over the Monroe photo that read: Not only a girl’s best friend.

That’s all it needed to say before it sent you to read the story of the diamond heist inside.

Doing print smartly and happily (it’s still possible)

Can newspapers still offer surprises? The proof is here.

Can newspaper editors turn their printed platform into a box of Godivas containing that unexpected, but welcome, coconut cream bonbon? The proof is here.

I imagine that many readers of other newspapers ignored the Brussels airport diamond robbery, of which they already knew all they cared to know, as they read headlines that sounded as if this was 1986 and mobile devices did not exist to tell us the moment events of this magnitude happened.

But one could not ignore the FAZ’s marvelously simple but fun treatment, Marilyn’s face with its eternal allure, and a headline that seduced you to go inside and read the story about which you already knew. Simply put: the FAZ editors had fun with this one, and they shared it with us.

Diamonds are still a girl’s (or a thief’s) best friend, but so are editors who think beyond the ordinary, who still have fun doing print happily and who, although they know their printed newspaper may have lost the time advantage to its digital siblings, continue to play in the sandbox with ink and paper, for which we are ever so thankful.

On days like this, we, too, believe that (smart and fun) print is as eternal as Marilyn Monroe.

Of related interest

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While on the subject of Marilyn Monroe: if you are a fan of Norma Jean, tune in to Smash, the TV series now starting its second season, that airs in the US on NBC Monday nights, and follows the behind the scenes saga of the makings of a fictitious Broadway musical appropriately titled, Bombshell.

For more about Smash:

The iPad Design Lab: follow up

This week we conducted a two-day workshop with the young and talented editorial/digital team of Slovakia’s Novy Cas.  As we wrote about it Wednesday, the workshop emphasized storytelling, navigation, pop ups and look and feel.  The first day was all about conceptualizing the future curated edition for this daily popular newspaper; by the end of that first day, sketches were on display and we were doing the gallery walk to see how users would travel across the various screens.

Then by the closing of the workshop a dozen or so more finalized, designed screens for landing pages, article read pages, photo galleries, etc.  Still rough and much work to be done in finalizing grid and typographic details, but with a solid concept on which to build.  It is all part of our iPad Design Lab, designed to take a publication from print to mobile platforms.

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A collage of the various screens that resulted from our two-day iPad Design Lab at Novy Cas, a daily newspaper published in Bratislava.

Where’s Mario until March 2, 2013?

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Mario’s upcoming speaking engagements

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Take advantage of our iPad Design/Ad Lab workshops

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Do you want to take your brand to the next level by creating a tablet edition? Garcia Media can help. We now offer one- to two-day iPad Design Lab workshops on demand to jumpstart your presence on this exciting new platform. We also offer iPad Ad Lab workshops to develop engaging advertising models for your app. Contact us for more information.

Diamonds are also this front page’s best friend

Purchase the book on the iBookstore

iPad Design Lab has been given the QED Seal

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The QED (Quality–Excellence–Design) Seal is bestowed by the judges of the Publishing Innovation Awards after “a thorough, professional 13-point design review with an eye towards readability across multiple devices and in multiple formats.“

Learn more about the QED Seal here.

The EPUB version of book is HERE:

Now available: The EPUB version of  iPad Design Lab: Storytelling in the Age of the Tablet, ready for download via for Kindle:

Here is how you can get iPad Design Lab book:

The original version of the book is the multitouch textbook version available on the iBookstore for iPad (iOS 5.0 and up):

This version includes video walkthroughs, audio introductions to each chapter, swipeable slideshows, a glossary and a sophisticated look and feel.

Apple only sells multitouch textbooks in certain countries at this time, unfortunately. Copies are available in at least the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, and the United States.

For those in other countries and without an iPad, we have made the book available in a basic edition for other platforms. This basic edition includes the full text of the original, along with the images and captions, but lacks the other features such as audio and video. It is available on the following platforms in many countries:

Amazon Kindle:

Google Books:

Take a video tour of iPad Design Lab

iPad Design Lab” trailer on Vimeo.

Read the Society of Publication Designers’ review of The iPad Design Lab here:

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Keep up with Mario Garcia Jr.. via Garcia Interactive: helping transform online news since 1995.

TheMarioBlog post #1199

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