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Friday, February 27, 2004

Mario Garcia has met the new "supersonic" reader

Impossible to ignore a Mario Garcia's statement. He is one of the world’s leading newspaper designers and he was a speaker at the 2004 World Newspaper Advertising Conference & Expo organised in Amsterdam, Netherlands by the World Association of Newspapers: "The influence of the internet on newspaper design cannot be underestimated.” Mr Garcia said. “It used to be, a person gave the page a 25-second look-over. That is now reduced to 10 seconds. Ten seconds -- that’s how much time they use to determine where to go. But there are now readers who are even faster than the scanner -- Mr Garcia called them “supersonic” readers, generally 18- to 20-years old, who see nothing but pictures and 100-point type."

Excerpts of the Mario Garcia's speech:

?There are two revolutions in newspapers, tremendously influenced by the internet. One is navigation -- you cannot have a newspaper that doesn?t include a summary that tells you what to read if you only have five to seven minutes. The second is positioning of advertising... We are dealing with the multitasker -- a reader who can obviously do several things simultaneously -- he has difficulty doing things one at a time... We must learn to create ads aimed at the multitasker. It will be a difficult task."

He presented the results of eye-tracking research to illustrate the difficulty. ?It used to be, a person gave the page a 25-second look-over. That is now reduced to 10 seconds. Ten seconds -- that?s how much time they use to determine where to go.?

That means they look at images, headlines, captions, briefs. But there are now readers who are even faster than the scanner -- Mr Garcia calls them ?supersonic? readers, generally 18- to 20-years old, who see nothing but pictures and 100-point type.

The changes coming will be an increased wrap-around ads covering the first page of newspapers, experimental treatments, and what he calls ?silent ads? on navigation columns and columns of briefs.

Silent ads come directly from the web -- they don?t sell anything but a brand, they?re small and they?re placed where the eye travels across the news columns.

?They pop up in places where you don?t expect the advertisement to appear,? said Mr Garcia. ?They?re integrated into the design of the newspaper. They?re labeled as advertising, they don?t jump at you or break away from the colour palate of the newspaper.?

The ads, which are often disliked by editorial staff and have not been accepted everywhere, are premium priced. Mr Garcia said they will become more widespread despite the controversy.

Source: Larry Kilman, World Association of Newspapers.

Posted by Bertrand Pecquerie on February 27, 2004 at 06:27 PM in g. Photojournalism, i. Future of print | Permalink

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