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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Good ideas and good writing need to be backed up by good design


In this month's first anniversary issue of Fortune India, editor D.N. Mukerjea looks back at the cover stories and features of the past 12 months and, more important from the media student's point of view, explains what it is that helps these stories to grab attention:

[It] is not just how they are written but also how the pages look. Design, which includes photos, graphics, fonts, colours, and the overall layout, has always played a significant role. As I often remind myself, and tell whoever cares to listen, Fortune India stands on four pillars editorially — reporting, desk, photo, and design. Magazines are meant to be visually rich and, I dare say, Fortune India is the richest of them all. Our pages have won international design awards from the Society of Publication Designers and IFRA, and private art collectors are forever after me to sell them some of our images. (So far, I have resisted the temptation.)

Mukerjea's thoughts on the importance of design should find resonance with production journalists everywhere.

THE COVER OF THE LAUNCH ISSUE.

Fortune India does not have a website, sadly, so you will have to study the magazine itself to understand what Mukerjea is trying to say when he writes, and I agree with him, that Fortune India "is the richest of them all" in visual appeal.

I must add here that the magazine is also home to some brilliant story ideas that, thanks to the editors, have not just remained ideas; they have been executed so well that it is an undiluted pleasure to leaf through the magazine even when the articles, because of their business orientation, may not truly interest the general reader.
  • Undoubtedly, Fortune India is the best-designed magazine in India. What would be the newspaper equivalent? My vote goes to DNA. As for the general interest magazine with the most intelligent writing, I think Time Out Bengaluru would win hands down if there were a contest.