Suddenly, the Middle East is the focus of attention of designers!
Since Gulf News was redesigned by Mario Garcia several years ago, other papers have caught the bug.
Last April, I redesigned the Saudi Gazette in Jeddah, turning it from a tabloid to a broadsheet.
Innovation is redesigning Emirates Today, a government-owned tabloid in Dubai. A team of five from Innovation, including Marta Botero, is in Dubai working on the project.
Now, I hear several other papers are looking to redesign. But I wonder how many newspapers understand that a redesign alone is not going to sell newspapers.
It takes commitment of the top order. Commitment in getting the right journalists, commitment in training, commitment in carrying out the redesign not just for a few months but two to three years later and commitment in technology and a host of other big-money investment.
A newspaper is a labour-intensive product, and as every businessman knows, the quality of people determines the quality of your newspaper.
Sadly, some redesigns fall by the wayside because of a lack of such commitment. The Saudi Gazette is such an example. Too bad.