Mr Garcia has collaborated with more than 573 publications over the past 40 years and has redesigned publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Miami Herald, The Philadelphia Inquirer and Die Zeit. He was appointed head of Syracuse University‘s School of Graphic Arts in 1977 and was the first recipient of the Society for News Design’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
At the 2011 PANPA Future Forum, Mr Garcia will offer insight into how thought-leaders in the news business are approaching their print and digital assets from a design perspective.
On the global reach of iPads:
iPad development is in its infancy, but catching up speed and energy fast. We learn as we go. I think that Bild of Germany does the “pop-ups” and animated moments in a news app better than anyone else; the Scandinavians are doing exciting things and are probably ahead of the curve.
But my disappointment is that few are truly taking the giant leap to using the full potential of the tablet, not as a replica of the printed newspaper, but as a combination of many genres, including the documentary, the retro fashion newsmagazine, the music video and so on.
On the importance of design in an iPad app:
Ironically, functionality is more important than design in the creation of an iPad app, especially a news iPad app.
It’s not that the visuals aren’t important. But first, navigation, and how one gets from here to there must be clean, easy and obvious. Then comes look and feel, how people react in those first ten seconds when they enter the app, what you convey; choices of how typography and colour are presented are extremely important. Templates that are clean and easy to follow are a must. I think the possibilities for design experimentation are greater, just like they are for stories.
On consumer behaviour and design considerations:
Functionality comes first, I am afraid. But it does in print too. A beautiful newspaper with bad content and poor indexing is not going to remain popular for too long. Design and functionality are two precious words in our craft. I try to remember them daily as I do my work. However, one does not have to be absent to have the other.
On why publishers should package iPad apps for an evening edition, not morning:
I insist that the tablet, like the printed newspaper, is a “lean back” and relax platform; the mobile and the online are the lean forward platforms, to be used during work and for breaking news. All the research available about iPad usability tells us that most tablet users read on the tablet at night, while watching TV sometimes, in prime time, 8pm to 11 pm. I believe you will also see some printed newspapers moving to that time.