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Saulo Santana
Berlin & Potsdam, Germany

Interviewed by the SNDs Magazine




Many people ask me about my experience working in a tabloid newspaper and bringing visual storytelling to it.

I was interviewed by the SNDs Magazine, published in the Scandinavia countries, where I talk about it and about the power of telling stories visually.

The magazine and the complete 6 pages interview are also avaiable as a digital magazine here:

For other issues of the magzine, check it here:

Here some highlights of the interview:

What was your process in order to introduce this in a Tabloid / Yellow press style?
For me, there is no tabloid-style or Yellow Press style. Yet, there is such a thing as tabloid-language, and it doesn’t have to be ugly, as many people say. I think popular newspapers have a special ability, more than any other publication, to surprise. Popular newspapers don’t need to be ugly to work.

Visual storytelling brings emotion and encourages action. Bad designed stories are like a potentially good movie, but have no soundtrack.

After the first months in the newsroom, nobody could convince me that all the poorly executed visuals which I found in some stories, were really what the readers wanted. I was sure that it was possible to unleash that power visually. Believe me when I say that, it’s possible to bring visual storytelling into the language of a tabloid. And the results can be impressive as well.”


“I’ve visited different tabloid newsrooms in Europe and many people have mentioned your work as a reference for raising the bar with storytelling for tabloids. But we know there is still a crisis when it came to number of sales, did this improve?
I’m not allowed to disclose profit numbers. But, after these 2 years, I can say it’s much better than the company expected. They are very good. (Smiles). I don’t think design is the only thing that can save a publication, although it can possibly kill one! I believe in the power of telling stories visually. For me, attracting readers at first glance, is key.”


“If you compare your experience to all those traditional newspapers where you have worked before, is there any special formula for bringing “visual storytelling” to a tabloid?
I’m not sure there’s any recipe written on stone for that matter, but I could say that understanding the language of the publication should be the first step. You need to know and understand your readers. And for me, what best defines “visual storytelling” is the combination between visual narrative and emotional reaction. If you achieve both, you can be sure that you’ve reached your readers.

Change is always hard. To change the culture of your team is even harder. If I could give any tip for a person who is trying to do it; “stop criticizing the past”. You have to get your hands dirty, inspiring your team with what you say by doing.”