Clackity, clackity, clack

One of the things we’ve had in the back of our minds whilst building the Newspaper Club site, is that we want to honour the traditions and aethetic of newspaper production and distribution, but without pastiching or somehow sucking up to it.

Some of our inspiration has come from visiting the printing presses, which have changed relatively little in the last couple of decades. (You can see some photos from our previous visits in Flickr.) But the news-gathering, design and layout process has changed hugely, and it’s a bit of shame that it’s something that we can’t experience first hand anymore.

But still, there are some lovely pieces of footage. A friend watched Absence of Malice the other day, a 1981 film by Sydney Pollack, starring Paul Newman. And whilst watching the opening sequence he thought of us.

Clackity ticker-tape machines! Teletypes! Nasty chemicals! Lots of beeping! If we can evoke just the smallest bit of this feeling, then I’ll be a happy man indeed.

Merry Christmas from the Engineering Dept!

Note to the Sales & Marketing Dept: site does not include repetitive beeping noises.

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Filed under: engineering, printers

The Last newspaper of the year

Last FM recently published their celebrated end of year Top 40 as a newspaper using our PDF upload option.

Last.fm best of 2009 newspaper

They printed a paper for London and a paper for New York and included some local data visualisations based on listening in those cities.

Last.fm best of 2009 newspaper

It looks gorgeous and it feels like another way of getting online data into print.

Last.fm best of 2009 newspaper

More details here including one you can download.

We’re grateful to Last for providing us with a suitable end of year headline as we’re now shut for Christmas. We’ve had lots of enquiries over the last few weeks from people who are very excited about making their own newspapers, so it’s only fair that we update you on our launch progress.

We’re currently in a very private beta. This means we have a few select people testing the site and we’re learning and rebuilding as we go along. As you will have noticed we are printing newspapers but only a few and only really ones we feel demonstrate the flexibility of Newspaper Club. We’re not open for business just yet.

We’re planning a public beta end of Jan / start of Feb when you will be able to make a newspaper.

The best place to hear all the Newspaper Club launch news is right here.

Until next year have a very Merry Christmas from Art, Engineering and Sales & Marketing.

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Filed under: case studies

Occasionally smug

Depending upon which device you are reading this, over there on the right we claim that this blog will be where “we’re alarmingly honest about where it’s all going wrong. And occasionally smug about where it’s going right.” At the moment our PR strategy appears to be “going right”.

We were featured in December’s Creative Review in a piece about the best magazines and newspapers of the year. Jeremy Leslie from MagCluture described us as “a pointer to the future of publishing content”.

Newspaper Club in Creative Review

Paul Brazier, the D&AD President (that’s a big deal for the design team) picked us as his Design of the Year in Design Week’s review of 2009. In particular he highlighted the corporate newspaper we did for Penguin.

D&AD President nominates Newspaper Club as his design of the year in Design Week

Gordon Brown mentioned us that speech he gave which set all the data free. He referenced the Postcode Paper when describing the great things free data could achieve.

“All of this will be available for free commercial re-use, enabling people for the first time to take the material and easily turn it into applications, like fix my street or the Postcode Paper.”

That created all sort of interest including this mention inside the Financial Times. Which in turn impressed my father-in-law.

Newspaper Club in the Financial Times

Not bad for a small start up.

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Filed under: art

Folksy – a Sales & Marketing Triumph

folksy

A lot of glory in any start-up tends to go to the designers and engineers, they make the visible stuff, the stuff that gets written about, the stuff that wins awards. But the success of any start-up is really down to the people treading the streets, getting toes in door, getting in-your-face-time with wavering clients and Making A Sale – the Sales People. The newspaper we made with Folksy is a great example of this unsung art in operation. James has done us the favour of letting us peek inside the conversation:

hard sell 1

The first rule of the patented Newspaper Club Always Be Selling Process (TM) – Positivity and Pith! There are two words here and they’re both positive. This is textbook.

hard sell 2

I don’t believe this bit of the conversation actually happened, a Top-Class Sales Person (TM) wouldn’t use a word like hindsight because it fails two rules of Hard Sales Language – No Soft Vowels and No Long Words. Anyway.

hard sell 3

And here’s The Close. Observe the Textbook use of monosyllabic words and strict adherence to ABCIFTK principles (Always Be Coming In For The Kill).

This is how a start-up gets started-up. Sales. Hard-nosed, hard-faced, leave-nothing-on-the-table, get-your-tanks-on-their-lawn salespersonship. Let’s not forget that.

Seriously though. Big thanks to all the folksy folk. This is a lovely project, we’re very glad to help. More pictures will follow shortly.

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Filed under: Uncategorized