Visual storytelling is like telling a joke

Posted on Oct 31, 2016 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Once giving a lecture in an University, I was asked about how is my creative process when I do a page in a newspaper.…

My answer was: “Visual storytelling is like telling a joke”.

Because jokes are fascinating. The punchline of a joke is the opposite of expectation. And we laugh. It’s sometimes the opposite of something you are thinking. The creation of joke, going through a routine to tell a story after a story, that is presented different, makes you laugh.

I am not saying that visual storytelling is about laughing, but about generating a reaction. The way a joke is suppose to bring you somewhere and drive you somewhere else, this surprise element, catches our attention in order to generate an emotion.

Bellow my latest work at Bild am Sonntag, from the last issue:

santana_food santana_church_reformation

santana_afeganistan1Photos by Christian Spreitz

santana_house_securityantartic_saulosantana1Illustration with Piekaryo

Two-day workshop in Serbia: a step forward in visual journalism

Posted on Oct 12, 2016 in Uncategorized | No Comments

(First day of the workshop, at Blic newsroom in Belgrade – photo by Oliver Bunić/Blic)


I had the honor to spend the last two days of this week conducting a very exciting two-day workshop in Belgrade, Serbia, working together with the talented teams from the newspapers Blic and Alo! and from the magazines НИН and Blic Žena, making a step further in visual journalism.

On the first day we did an overview, passing through visual storytelling, infographics and typography, analysing examples, theories and processes.

Since I believe that one of the most important instrument, when its about visual storytelling, is the use of cognitive psychology, we analysed how it can work as a wise tool to engage readers, generating emotional reactions, and improving the understanding of stories.

On the second day, with the heads of departments, we focused on the daily Blic and on its Saturday edition. I made a analysis of both products, taking a deep look at how it presented news. We had an entire morning discussion with the team and identified important points and estimated the next steps that will help the development of both publications.

I leave Serbia inspired by a newspaper with an amazing potential and a brilliant team led by Jelena Drakulic (CEO), who has always impressed me by her unique approach on the publications in Serbia, and her talented Visual Director, Slobodan Pikula.


(Newspaper analysis, on the second day of the workshop)

2 Awards at the Lead Awards

Posted on Oct 9, 2016 in Uncategorized | No Comments

img_4294(photo form the Award gallery in Hamburg, Germany)


And October starts with good news! Happy to win 2 awards at the Lead Awards in Germany with Bild am Sonntag.

One award, with the special section of the 60th Anniversary of the newspaper, where we showed 60 covers from the last 60 years. The other, with 22 pages of breaking news, when the sad and unbelievable terrorist attacks happened in Paris.

The first, a celebration of journalism. The second, visual journalism in its essence, on the limit of deadline.


“60 years of Bild am Sonntag”

(check here the “making of” this cover)


“War against our way of living”











The design jury

Posted on Oct 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | No Comments

DGL Testtage 2016Balocco, 03.10.2016(c) Niels Starnick / Bild am Sonntag

For the third time I joined the design jury of the most important Award of the Auto industry in Europe, “The Golden Steering Wheel”. This year, designers from different areas, were in the team: Anton Piëch, Andrea Zagato, Louis de Fabribeckers, Andrej Kupetz and Paolo Tumminelli. Were fun days in Balocco with great discussions and talks about how design can create this important relation between car and driver.

(photo by Niels Starnick)

Redesigning a magazine in 36 countries

Posted on May 17, 2016 in Recent Projects, Uncategorized | No Comments


Less than 2 years ago I had the honor to redesign Auto Bild magazine in Germany. In the last months, the graphic project that I developed began to be applied in the other countries where the magazine has own versions. After Germany, the graphic project started to be implemented in the magazines from Spain, Bulgaria, Poland, Turkey, Serbia, Czech Republic (photo above) and some other countries.

AUTO BILD is the largest car magazine in the world, present in 36 countries, selling more than more than 7 million copies each month, celebrating this year its 30th anniversary.


Read more:
In the TOP 3 of the best redesigns in Germany
The “before x after” of the redesign. 


Bellow some pages of the project in:


Auto Bild Germany

Click here to see the project details and pages of Auto Bild in Germany


Auto Bild Spain

IMG_3366 IMG_3368a IMG_3369IMG_3383 IMG_3384 IMG_3373 IMG_3374 IMG_3375 IMG_3376 IMG_3377 IMG_3378 IMG_3379 IMG_3385 IMG_3386 IMG_3387 IMG_3388 IMG_3389


Auto Bild Poland

IMG_3345 IMG_3346 IMG_3347 IMG_3348 IMG_3349 IMG_3351 IMG_3353 IMG_3354


Auto Bild Bulgaria

IMG_3303 IMG_3307 IMG_3309 IMG_3311 IMG_3313 IMG_3315 IMG_3316


Auto Bild Turkey

IMG_3317 IMG_3318 IMG_3319 IMG_3320 IMG_3321 IMG_3322 IMG_3323 IMG_3324 IMG_3325 IMG_3326 IMG_3327 IMG_3328


Auto Bild Czech Republic

IMG_3329 IMG_3330 IMG_3337 IMG_3338 IMG_3339 IMG_3340 IMG_3341

60th Anniversary of Bild am Sonntag

Posted on May 5, 2016 in Recent Projects, Uncategorized | No Comments

Bild am Sonntag is the biggest Sunday newspaper in Europe, and this week celebrates its 60th Anniversary.

For this date, we had last Sunday a special issue with the must memorable covers from the last 60 years. While I was designing the cover for this extra section, I recorded the process of doing it. This “making of” shows the main idea of the cover: an overview on different facts that happened in the last 60 years and were on the pages of the newspaper.

10 hours of work, that are now summarized in the 2 minutes video bellow:


Also for the anniversary, I designed a commemorative Logo,  used in the newspaper and applied in all campaigns.
As a concept for the Logo, my idea was to show what we must wish from this world: happiness.

Bellow, the visual Guide Line and the applications of the logo:



9 Awards at the ENC16

Posted on May 5, 2016 in Uncategorized | No Comments


This week I joined the European Newspaper Congress in Vienna. Interesting talks and discussions. From all, I kept one quote in my mind (don’t remember who really said it):

“focus on what you are good at”

For me this is the message for all publishing houses when thinking about reinvent theirselves.

In the end of the congress there was the Award Ceremony. Happy to be awarded with 9 Awards.

(On the photo Norbert Küpper, from my team: Marco Bratch (Sport Managing Editor) and Madeleine Jarling (Layout Chief), and Annette Milz).



California love?

Posted on Apr 14, 2016 in Uncategorized | No Comments


Last week I was in San Francisco, for the annual workshop of the Society for News Design.

Nice talks. Many developers. Interesting projects. But, during the conference, I asked myself many times: are we loosing the way that journalism should follow?

As a visual journalist, I always say that the new digital era should serve journalism and not the other way around.

I am afraid of data visualisations that don’t answer me anymore the basic questions that I have. I am afraid of websites with amazing tools, but that disturb me to understand a simple journalistic information. Afraid of mobile apps that make strange sounds and are cold, almost freezing, and don’t bring me anything. This is definitely not the future of journalism.

Once I learned that an infographic or any newspaper page works, when it answers our basic questions. All the rest is something else, but not journalism.

The best of News Design in the World

Posted on Feb 29, 2016 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Once again we can take a look at what the judges of the Society of News Design competition have considered to be the best designed newspapers in the world.

This time was very special for me; we had 15 pages awarded with 2 Awards of Excellence, but all of them breaking news, done on the limit of the deadline, when you have less than 8 hours to understand, investigate and tell the story in the best way possible. Here visual journalism has an important role, working with the basics of its essence.

The facts were strong by themselves. These were news we would like to never have printed.

As a visual journalist, the challenge was to give the correct impactful visual treatment for both stories. The audience gets visual clues about the importance and consequence of a story via visuals, not to mention the generation of the right emotional reaction that the story should bring, through the right use of visual storytelling.

As I always say, its harder to get such an award with a popular newspaper, that has a completely different language from what the ‘Society for News Design’ expect. But for me, the challenge is also to proof that is possible to bring quality in “visual storytelling”  in a popular publication.

In the last 4 years we got 14 awards and a Silver Medal in the SND with Bild am Sonntag - something that has never happened before in the newspaper.

Bellow are the pages that got Awards of Excellence. A big thanks for all the team involved!

Category Breaking News, National





Category Breaking News, Terrorism












A new newspaper in the UK

Posted on Feb 24, 2016 in Uncategorized | No Comments




The UK’s first new national newspaper for 30 years launches next week (29 February).

After the well designed Independent announces that will end its printed edition and go online only, this is an exciting news.

Editor Alison Phillips said “readers only have 30 minutes” and the paper would provide “what they need to know”.

I like what she says. This doesn’t mean ignoring online (as the new publication won’t have any online version), but making a newspaper which reflects and understands that.

I wish long life to ‘NewDay’! I will be watching with great expectation.

Read more: