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TRANSFORMATION BEYOND AESTHETICS:

THE ROLE OF DESIGN AND LAYOUT IN AMPLIFYING THE PRINT PLATFORM AND AUDIENCE ATTRACTION OF THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER

-------------------------

A Thesis

Submitted to the

Faculty of Arts and Letters

University of Santo Tomas

-------------------------

In Fulfillment

Of the Requirements for

Thesis Defense (THESIS II)

Journalism Program

-------------------------

Acuesta, Rea Michaela M.

Tilo, John Dexter T.

April 09, 2019

CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL FOR DEFENSE

This Thesis entitled

TRANSFORMATION BEYOND AESTHETICS: THE ROLE OF DESIGN AND LAYOUT IN AMPLIFYING THE PRINT PLATFORM AND AUDIENCE ATTRACTION OF THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER

prepared and submitted by

REA MICHAELA M. ACUESTA JOHN DEXTER T. TILO

has been ACCEPTED and APPROVED for Oral Examination, for the fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Journalism Program.

ADVISER’S GRADE:

(written and countersigned)

Date:

MR. LEO O. LAPARAN II Adviser

MR. FELIPE SALVOSA II Thesis Coordinator, Journalism Program

DECLARATION OF ORIGINALITY

This is to declare that the content of this thesis is a product of my work despite the assistance I have sought from other materials and persons, all of which I have cited, in terms of content, style and presentation. I declare that I have written this thesis with utmost faithfulness to the Thomasian Code of Honor.

REA MICHAELA M. ACUESTA

JOHN DEXTER T. TILO

Date:

MR. LEO LAPARAN II

Date:

SAFEASSIGN RESULT

SAFEASSIGN RESULT

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Abstract

 

In a time of newspaper decline, the owners of the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI),

one of the leading broadsheets in the Philippines, had a rethink of their brand in

2016 which included a change in their design and layout. This research aims to

look at whether the change in the design and layout of the PDI amplified and

increased the audience attraction of its print platform. This research utilized the

Gestalt Theory and from it a survey was conducted to 385 individuals from the City

of Manila and an interview to 12 people who were randomly chosen from the initial

respondents. Results showed a significant change between the previous and the

current layout of the PDI. The results further revealed that the audiences are more

likely to buy and read the new (and current) layout of the PDI. Based on the

findings, a change in the design and layout is a factor in amplifying the print

platform. Overall, design and layout in newspaper packaging is indeed another

factor that audiences consider in buying newspapers and it should not be

neglected in the publication process.

Keywords: preference, design, layout, Gestalt Theory, Philippine Daily Inquirer

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Table of Contents

 

Chapter 1.0

Introduction

01

1.1

Statement of the Problem

11

Chapter 2.0

Theoretical Background

14

2.1

Review of Related Literature

15

Chapter 3.0

Conceptual Framework

28

Chapter 4.0

Method

31

4.1

Design

32

4.2

Selection and Respondents

33

4.3

Data Measure

35

4.4

Data Collection Procedure

36

4.5

Data Analysis

38

4.6

Ethical Considerations

38

Chapter 5.0

Results

40

Chapter 6.0

Discussion and Conclusion

61

6.1

Limitations

63

6.2

Recommendations

64

References

66

Appendix A

List of Source Materials

74

Appendix B

Codebook and Code sheet

75

Appendix C

Questionnaire

76

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

List of Tables

Table 01. Reading frequency of respondents towards newspapers

40

Table 02. Buying frequency of respondents towards newspapers

41

Table 03. Factors in choosing a newspaper

41

Table 04. Response of the respondents if they still buy PDI

42

Table 05. Response of the respondents if they still read PDI

42

Table 06. Awareness on the print platform of PDI

43

Table 07. Awareness of the respondents on PDI’s redesign

43

Table 08. T-Test for Equality of Means

45

Table 09. Respondents’ response on the current layout’s

visual appeal

46

Table 10. Respondents’ response on the old layout’s visual appeal 47

Table 11. Respondents’ preferences between the old and current

layout

54

Table 12. Respondents’ preferences among the elements

55

Table 13. Respondents’ preferences in buying between

the old and current layout

56

Table 14. Respondents’ preferences in reading between

the old and current layout

57

Table 15. Respondents’ response if the current layout made

them want to read the PDI

57

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Table 16. Respondents’ response if the current layout made

them want to read the PDI

58

Table 17. Respondents’ response if the old layout made

them want to buy the PDI

58

Table 18. Respondents’ response if the old layout made

them want to read the PDI

59

Table 19. Respondents’ response if the design matters

in newspaper packaging

60

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List of Figures

 

Figure 01. The Inquirer Compact

02

Figure 02. Readership of different reading materials

03

Figure 03. The old and new layout of the PDI

06

Figure 04. Conceptual Framework

28

Figure 05. The August 29, 2016 front page of the PDI

34

Figure 06. The June 08, 2017 front page of the PDI

34

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Chapter 1

   

Introduction

 

The Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) is one of the three leading

broadsheets in the Philippines (Forbes, 2017). PDI is known for changing

things up from Inquirer Compact in 2006 (see Figure 1) where a smaller

version of the broadsheet was introduced (CMFR, 2006) to the recent

changes done at present. In 2016, PDI redesigned their newspaper, they

not only changed the design and layout but had a rethink of their whole

brand, a “transformation beyond aesthetics” (Prieto-Romualdez, 2016). PDI

has also transitioned to the digital age and made their news available across

the media quintet (Prieto-Romualdez, 2016).

 
 

In this era of multiple platforms and pervasive access to information,

Romualdez underscored that their role in society follows a requisite

responsibility to ensure

the PDI

content is not just consumed, but

experienced (Prieto-Romualdez, 2016). In a recent article of Romualdez in

2016 she explained their sudden change in design and layout and said that

the challenge is to bridge the needs of readers to provide the fullness of

experience possible with every platformenriching the stories within and

providing layers of enjoyment or angles of stories unique to every platform.

She

also

mentioned

that

a

redesign

project

of

this

magnitude

is

unprecedented in Philippine media. “It is not just mere changing fonts or

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layout. It required adjusting processes, IT infrastructure, rebridging story

philosophy, skills upgrade of personnel and training every Inquirer and

partner to look at news differently as a multiplatform experience,” she

added.

differently a s a multiplatform experience,” she added. Figure 1. The Inquirer Compact The print media

Figure 1. The Inquirer Compact

The print media has been struggling to compete with the new media

and keep up with the digital age and newspapers that the PDI had a

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redesign for the same purpose.

Readership of newspapers has been

consistently declining worldwide (See Figure 2) over recent decades as the

Internet and other new media become dominant in the news market

(Crispin, 2011). The traditional form of print publication is struggling to

remain relevant in the digital age (Bear, 2018).

to remain relevant in the digital age (Bear, 2018). Figure 3. Readership of different reading materials

Figure 3. Readership of different reading materials

According to Jacek Utko in a Ted Conference “Newspapers are dying

for a few reasons.” First, readers do not want to pay for yesterday’s news,

and advertisers follow them (Utko, 2009). “Smartphones and laptops are

much more handy than newspapers on Sundays,” Utko said while he

discussed how design can save the newspaper industry (2009). Utko is a

European newspaper designer, whose works were recognized for being the

World’s Best Designed Newspapers acknowledged by the Society of

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Newspaper Design (2009). The newspapers he has designed not only won

 

awards, but also found an increase in circulation by up to 100% such as the

newspapers he designed in Bulgaria. This was all done in Europe almost a

decade ago, and now the Philippines is picking up this newspaper

milestone.

Although, in this modern age, the relevance of newspapers is not

quite as evident. Newspapers serve a critical function in presenting a

selection of the day’s events to their communities, and each day’s news

presents a set of perspectives of the most important happenings to their

publics (Utt & Pasternack, 2003). Perhaps the most important location to

find such representations of society’s most critical events is a newspaper’s

front page. The first page of the newspaper is what grabs a reader’s

attention, thus, editors devote much energy in determining which story

elements should be placed on the most prized page of their publication

(McQuail, 2010; Singer, 2001).

 

PDI

invited

Dr.

Mario

Garcia,

journalism’s

design

guru,

who

convinced PDI to take the path taken by newspapers like Aftenposten of

Norway, La Voz of Argentina, Mint of India and the Gatehouse Media Group

of the US which have undergone transformation, either through format

change or a rethink (Prieto-Romualdez, 2016).

 

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In his blog, Mario Garcia told the story of the collaboration that

 

happened between his team in Garcia Media and the PDI team. It was the

executive team of PDI who invited Garcia in Manila to explore the ways in

which they could help newspaper (2016). Their workshop included an

“honest appraisal and evaluation of the Inquirer and how they presented

news” both visually and journalistically (Garcia, 2016). Garcia also brought

in designer, Adonis Durado, the creative director of the Times of Oman.

Durado, is one of the most award winning designers in the industry

accompanied Garcia with the project together with the PDI team. Now the

PDI that appears today displays a “contemporary and colorful look” also

appropriate to the vibrant Filipino culture (Garcia, 2016).

Editor Romualdez said that for PDI, it is not just a redesign but a

rethink and a “transformation beyond aesthetics”. She stated that PDI

“wants to evolve their content to reinforce the role of Inquirer as an essential

part of the daily habit.” PDI also wanted to give back to their readers “the

Inquirer experiencethat must be consistent and it must address the needs

of their various audiences, each with different need and interests, and

overall it must be enjoyable to read.”

Garcia Media, the PDI, and Durado’s collaboration produced after

several workshops and prototypes, the PDI that appears today which

displays a contemporary and colorful look (Garcia, 2016). As shown in

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Figure 3 the left front page is Inquirer before the redesign and the front page

 

to the right is Inquirer after the redesign.

page   to the right is Inquirer after the redesign. Figure 3. The old and new

Figure 3. The old and new layout of the PDI

In North America a broadsheet is typically but not always 29.5

by 23.5 inches (Bear, 2018). Most newspapers in the Philippines have

adapted this similar layout featuring the black and white paper with minimal

color and standard fonts. The new layout as described by Mario Garcia is

more colorful and contemporary. The new layout caters to the Filipino

people with the Filipino culture as the muse of the new design (Garcia,

2016).

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A

complex process is at play when designing a newspaper,

 

especially the front page. For example, the story selection is critical

(Reisner, 1992). The most important stories should be featured prominently

to entice impulsive buyers. However, stories are not the only features that

are presented on the front page. Other design elements, such as headlines

and photos, are also taken into considerationalong with typographic

decisions and graphic featuresto highlight each story (Lowrey, 1999;

Shoemaker & Reese, 2013).

 
 

Frameworks

and

Theories

connected

in

both

journalism

and

aesthetics were hard to find, but the study anchored itself to a theory

applicable from journalism and visual perception respectively, The Gestalt

Theory of Design.

 
 

In

the 1920s, a group of psychologists in Germany developed a

series of theories of visual perception. The Gestalt principles or the Gestalt

Theory, as it is also known from the basis of many design rules followed

today. Gestalt’s principles are: (a) similarity, (b) continuation, (c) closure, (d)

proximity, (e) figure/ground, and (f) symmetry and order (Hampton-Smith,

2017).

 

Similarity is the component that looks into how unified and similar the

components of a whole are. Continuation looks into the front page that

compels the eye to move in a certain direction. Closure is the component

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that looks into the parts of the front page that are packed tight and leave

 

empty spaces. While Proximity is the component that looks at the parts of

the front page that are placed together in a certain distance that make it

unified. Moreover, Figure or Ground looks into the part of the front page that

gives the audience a clear perspective that it is separated from the

background. Finally, Symmetry and Order, is the component that looks into

the parts of the front page that gives the readers the idea that the parts are

balanced.

The term Gestalt means 'unified whole.' These refer to the way in

which humans, when looking at a group of objects, will see the whole before

the individual parts. If newspapers collect together their design elements in

a visual arrangement using one of the various approaches or principles

stated above in the Gestalt Theory, their design and layout will feel more

connected, coherent, and complete.

A sudden change in design and layout is not something new to the

world because several newspapers abroad have had changes in their

layouts as well. James Gordon Bennett, a Scottish immigrant who founded

the modern newspaper called The New York Herald in May 1835, used a

dark cellar as his office and was the only staff. Although New York had

already more than a dozen newspapers, none had a complete outlook of a

modern newspaper and Bennett made a difference. As a proprietor and

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journalist, Bennett made a number of changes in the newspaper business

 

that gave it both character and content (Chege, 2012).

 

During the 1960s Peter Palazzo, a New York based designer,

redesigned the now defunct New York Herald Tribune. He was known to

prefer working with white spaces, large photographs, and unconventional

type. It has been argued that the same 1960 issue of the Herald Tribune

could pass for a stylish publication today (Chege, 2012).

 

Excellence in newspaper typography and design is the integration of

words with visual elements such as type, photography, color illustrations,

informational graphics and white space. If executed properly, the resulting

blend of words and visual elements attracts the reader and conveys

information faster.

 

USA

TODAY

probably

represents

the

single

most

important

development in newspaper design in the United States in the first half of the

1980s. It created an awareness of graphics, color and possibilities of editing

and design within the pages of a newspaper, unlike any before its inception.

In 1982, the newspaper created a graphic awareness that unveiled the

potential of color, informational graphics, and well-scrutinized succinct

editing work (Chege, 2012).

 

As newspapers try harder to engage with time-pressed readers,

visual journalism becomes increasingly important. Modern newspapers

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care more than ever about photography and design, information graphics

 

are back in the spotlight (Porter, 2011). This is why in today’s time no one

can fault those who choose to switch things around in their newspapers

especially when it deals with their layout and design.

In their article online, PDI addressed the issue as to why they

changed their design and layout. Their editors “took a long pause” and

questioned themselves if a redesign is indeed necessary and if it would be

something that readers would want. The decision of redesigning was not

just out of a whim, it was well thought out through several rounds of

meetings and visioning discussions, “It’s more than just a redesign, it is a

rethink” (Prieto-Romualdez, 2016).

The magnitude of change in the PDI went from the font, the styles,

and the entirety of its newspaper. Its front page had a new look, with more

vibrant colors compared to the previous one.

The front page is the first page of the newspaper, containing the most

important stories of the day. Moreover, it is considered as the newspaper’s

front door. It’s the first thing a reader sees. The stories that appear there

are ones that will be talked about all day. (Newsuem.org, n.d.)

Front pages have evolved through the years. Front page and

newspaper designs are further seen as part of the overall branding of a

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newspaper (Lamberg, 2015). Packaging the newspaper is like product

 

design that plays a role in selling the newspaper.

Through Wertheimer, Koffka, and Köhler’s Gestalt Principle, product

design may be approached directly from an understanding of how readers

perceive design and layout. Asking important questions such as whether or

not the elements present make the front page look unified enough for the

readers. The Gestalt Theory of Design is a principle that helps form a

“whole” finished composition from various unified visual parts.

Using the Gestalt Theory of Design, the study may be able to find out

if the design and layout plays a role in amplifying the front page of a

newspaper and in amplifying the audience attraction to the said paper.

Design and layout may very well be the print platform’s salvation.

The study would analyze through a qualitative analysis of the design

and layout elements through Gestalt Theory and the analysis of audience

attraction through a series of interviews using the same theory.

Statement of the Problem

Building on the Gestalt Principle, the study seeks (a) to identify the

components of design and layout of the PDI, (b) to compare and contrast

the previous and the current layout of the PDI through audience perception

and the Gestalt Principle, (c) to determine if the audience preferred the

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current layout as opposed to the old layout, and (d) to determine if the

 

audience are more likely to buy the newspaper after PDI’s redesign.

The research aims to answer if there were changes in the design and

layout of the PDI and to identify these changes. It also seeks to find if the

change in the design and layout of PDI’s broadsheet amplified their print

platform and if the change attracted the audience more to likely read and

buy the newspaper.

It is hypothesized that the readers prefer Philippine Daily Inquirer’s

current design and layout as opposed to the previous design and layout. It

is also hypothesized that the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s new layout is in line

with the Gestalt Principle.

H1: PDI’s readers prefer and are more likely to buy and read the current

design and layout than the old design and layout.

H2: PDI’s new layout is in line with the Gestalt principle.

The study will open the door for a future visual communication theory

for the print media, so that further studies may be made about design and

layout of newspapers and even magazines.

Also, the study will bring about importance and acknowledgment

towards aesthetics and the visual specifics of a newspaper and how it is just

as important as the content.

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Studying the design and layout and whether or not it amplifies the

 

print platform will contribute to the newspaper companies and journalists in

the

Philippines.

This

would

address

the

audience’s

perception

of

newspapers today and access what further things could be done to better

the print platform so that it may compete with the new media.

 

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Chapter 2

   

2.0 Theoretical Background

 
 

This chapter presented the theoretical framework of the thesis. This

research was anchored on the Gestalt Principle, which was used in

analyzing the design and layout and audience attraction of the front page of

the PDI.

 
 

This thesis analyzed the components of design and layout of the PDI.

It also compared and contrasted the previous and current layout of the

newspaper, and determined whether the new or old design is preferred by

the audience. Moreover, this thesis also looked at how design affected the

audience behavior towards the Philippine Daily Inquirer. It determined if the

audience were more encouraged to buy the newspaper after its redesign,

and if the layout editors met the expected audience behavior after its

change in layout.

 
 

The design of front pages had been an elusive topic in Philippine

research when it comes to newspapers, and PDI’s recent layout change

had brought the topic to light. This thesis aimed to contribute in formulating

more

visual

communication

theories

in

the

context

of

newspapers.

Moreover, this research contributed in starting a discourse on the effects of

design and layout on newspapers and its effects on audience behavior in

the Philippines.

 

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2.1 Review of Related Literature

   

There were numerous studies about the front pages and the designs

of the front pages of newspapers. Moreover, there were varying literature

about the audience perception towards the designs of front pages. The

studies included the importance of the front page as a part of the newspaper

and the significance of design and layout as an element of the front pages.

Front Pages

 

Althaus and Tewksbury (2002) stated that newspapers serve an

important function in a democratic society. It communicates the news

through a display of codes that should provide the reader with information

of the world. News are expressed in the print platform through linguistic,

typographic, and graphic codes defined by the newspaper itself (Carter,

2000). They serve the critical function of presenting a selection of the day’s

events to their audiences and showing a set of perspectives of the most

important

happenings

to

their

publics

(Utt

and

Pasternack,

2003).

Moreover, newspapers deliver collective experiences of people, common

symbolic anchors, and they share representations of society to their publics

(Althaus and Tewksbury, 2002).

 

Such representations of society’s most critical events and stories can

be found in the newspaper’s front page (McQuail, 2010; Singer, 2001). It

functions as the gateway to the most important stories and images of the

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day (Pasternack and Utt, 1986). According to the newseum.org and The

 

Washington Post (2014), the stories that appear on the front page are the

ones that will be talked about the entire day.

Reines (1992) called the front page of the newspaper as the most

important page of the publication. It is the newspaper’s showcase (Utt and

Pasternack, 1984). The front page of the newspaper attracts the readers

and welcomes the reader in to the content. It is the newspaper’s front door

and what grabs the reader’s attention (McQuail, 2010 and Singer, 2001).

Aside from attracting the readers, it also informs them and then sets their

agenda for the day (Pasternack and Utt, 1986). It is the most relevant

strategic issue in newspaper management, seeing as the newspaper has

the ability to raise and steer the readers’ attentions towards certain issues

(Lopez-Rabadan and Case Ripolles, 2012).

These critical functions of the newspaper are what motivate the

editors in determining carefully which story elements should be printed on

the most prized page of the publication (McQuail, 2010; and Singer, 2001).

News audiences tend to focus more on front-page stories rather than on

stories published in the other parts of the newspaper (Min-Mid Publications,

1984). Hence, this is why Reisner (1992) said that a complex process is at

play in designing the front page.

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Traditionally, the main role of the front page is to report the most

 

important stories of the day (Utt and Pasternack, 1984). Traditional news

values are part of the strategy that editors use and one strong trend in

choosing a certain story is if it is part of a recent ongoing story (Reisner,

1992). News organizations create routines to efficiently and profitably

manage different events from around the world. Such routines determine

the news product and how the world is made known through news (Lowrey,

1999; Reese, 2013).

While it is important that the most important stories should be

featured prominently to entice impulsive buyers, the stories alone are not

the only features presented on the front page. Design elements, typographic

decisions, and graphic features are also taken into consideration (Lowrey,

1999; Shoemaker and Reese, 1993).

Design elements on the front page are significant because it can

visually suggest to the audience what the news outlet considers are the

most important stories of the day (Reisner, 1992). Furthermore, the front

page is the newspaper’s packaging and reflects the publication’s character

and entire personality (Dosen and Brkljacic, 2018; and Ames, 1989).

Dosen and Brkljacic (2018) found that the front page completely

affects the audience’s decision to buy a newspaper and the content and

look of the front page is also taken into account. Its very appearance sells

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the newspaper. Which is why, the front page of the newspaper must be

 

original, recognizable, and distinctive at the same time (Ames, 1989).

Front Page Design

 

Newspaper layout is a place in which the relationship between the

content and form of the publication becomes highly significant. The layout

determines the dynamics of the main elements on the page as studied by

Dosen and Brklajic in 2018. They said that a successful design in a product

like a newspaper is based on the appreciation of the interdisciplinary and

complex nature of design and respect for the universal principles of

organization, which is Gestalt.

 

Gestalt, the universal principles, visual communication and a number

of other disciplines provide a uniform understanding, awareness, and

access to the visual design of newspaper (Dosen and Brklajacic, 2018).

According

to

Saxena

(2013),

the

newspaper

design

facilitates

communication and at the same time makes the newspaper visually

appealing. Utt and Pasternack (1984) said that innovations in design make

the newspaper not only look better, but also easier to read.

 

The design and layout is considered as the newspaper’s overall

branding (Lamberg, 2015) and the front page of the newspaper is

considered as its “packaging” (Dosen and Brklajacic, 2018). However, the

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front page of the newspaper did not always look like what it does today. It

 

had evolved through the years.

Utt and Pasternack (1984) claimed that there was a design revolution

which began before the 80s and it still continues. The design revolution hit

different newspapers from the smallest to the giant publications in the

industry, knowing no circulation, ownership, nor geographical boundaries

(Utt and Pasternack, 1989). From then on, newspapers are now more

conscious about their appearances (Utt and Pasternack, 1984).

Changes in the design mostly involved the newspaper’s form, and

not the paper’s content. The front pages of newspapers had a more legible

body type and a horizontal make up. They reduced the headline decks and

also eliminated column rules. Some underwent minor changes in their

headline typeface, but some did an overhaul by redesigning their format,

adding digests, and colors, teasers, or other modern devices (Utt and

Pasternack, 1984).

Evidence of change was everywhere. A trend emerged on the

greater use of colors, information graphics, and pictures. Modular format

and offset printing began emerging. Some dailies shifted from an old

English nameplate to a modern and one, giving the newspaper not only a

new look, but also a new identity, and to some cases, a new name (Utt and

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Pasternack, 1989; 1995). In effect, the changes created a greater uniformity

 

among front pages (Barnhurst and Nerone, 1991).

 

Different studies conducted in the past concluded different reasons

for the design revolution in newspapers, especially in their front pages.

Reasons include new emerging technologies, competition among media,

the rise of professionalism, and the growing sophistication among news

people about design such as the “dull” versus “modern” designs. (Barnhurst

and Nerone, 1991; Utt and Paseternack, 1986; 1995). Kenny and Lacy

(1987) elaborated that as newspaper competition increased, the number of

graphics, the percentage of front pages allocated to graphics, and the use

of color rose. Utt and Pasternack (1989) said that the emergence of graphic-

related technologies and a greater concern among most people for

appearance and content were the motivators of the design revolution. Lo,

Paddon,

and

Wu

(n.d.),

meanwhile,

found

that

legal

and

political

environment

was

also

an important factor in

influencing newspaper

appearance.

 

Barnhurst and Nerone (1991) stated that the changes in the

newspaper front pages were influenced by different ideas, but the changes

in the front page were gradual. The changes were towards making the front

page a more efficient map of the news for readers, arguing that it was not

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just economics affecting the design revolution, but also changes in design

 

theories and news ideologies.

In other words, the design decisions also reflected the news

organization’s values regarding what is considered to be the key news items

of the day (Lowrey, 1999). Lowrey (1999) added that as graphics and

designs became significant parts of the news as product, the pace of visual

journalism also picked up, and it is therefore important for researchers of

visual journalism to search for routines in generating visual news.

Bohle (1990) and Garcia (1987) both said that publication designers,

who introduced the changes on the front page, should showcase major

stories that can grab readers’ attention, facilitate organization, and generate

visual appeal.

Since then, from the 19 th century onward, there is a noticeable

historical development on the front page of newspapers as it transitioned

from the Victorian style to modernism (Dosen and Brkljacic, 2018). The

design and redesign of newspapers reflect the characteristics of the

economic, political, and technical environment of their market during their

respective historical period (Vizcano-Laorga and Ruesta, 2018). The

appearance of newspapers evolved from the vertical gray pages to a more

open, modular, horizontal, and topically organized publications (Allen and

Carroll, 1981; Sissors, 1965; and Barnhurst, 1991).

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

22

Morris and Haught (2014) said that the digital revolution has ushered

 

in a new era of front page designs, with newspapers embracing navigation

tools and promotion. This is the influence of the Internet, which introduced

the sense of navigation, summarized information, and “some kind of tabs”

in the print industry. Garcia (2000; 2004) also added that the Internet have

led a new trend in newspaper design, which have become more refined,

direct, and visually focused. Gavranovic (2006) said that this is a process

of fresh newspaper creation and design involving changes to the format,

concept, and product approach. Requirements of the media market in the

21 st century certainly pushed these innovations in the newspapers, even

more so than before. The rapid expansion in the late 20 th century influenced

a cultural transition from a verbal to visual discourse (Boz, 2003). There is

now a growing awareness on the element of design as a pivotal key for the

survival in the market (Dosen and Brkljacic, 2018).

As such, designers are further encouraged to bring in an attractive

visual pattern and present the newspaper with a recognizable visual

character through the utilization of typographical style (Hodgson, 1992).

This, however, is not an easy process. Dose and Brkljacic (2018)

said that designing a daily newspaper entails a complex approach. They

stated looking at the product as a printed graphic required a “wider

understanding and appreciation of the matter, method, and logic of its

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

23

function.” One needs to know the history and the objective and production

 

constraints in the publication. Objective constraints include the deadline,

format, type of paper, and the printing press. Production constraints refer to

the publication profile, frequency, and rules of newspaper reporting.

Comprehension of both means adhering to them along with the universal

design principles and the Gestalt principle in order to achieve the main

goals, which are easier readability, clarity, and visibility of information.

However, as observed by George-Palilonis (2004), that there is a gap

between the visual rhetoric and newspaper (graphic) design, which came

from the historical separation between words and design as communication

and artistic tools, and the relatively young utilization of newspaper design

as a visual language. (George Palilonis, 2004).

Audience Perception

The gateway to a product is its packaging. According to Mittal (2014),

the packaging of a product triggers a reaction from the consumers once

they look at it. Consumers respond to how the packaging of the product

made them feel the moment they see it (Mittal, 2014). It brings about the

consumer buying behavior. It can be defined as the series of activities

people engage in when searching, evaluating, selecting, purchasing, using,

and disposing of products and services as to satisfy their needs and desires

(Mittal, 2014). In addition, Bloch (1995) also said that a good design attracts

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

24

consumers, communicates the product to them, and adds value to the

 

product by “increasing the quality of the usage experiences associated with

it.”

Research on the perception of readers towards newspapers focused

on the correlation of visual behavior of readers and the newspaper design.

Readers showed that there is a reasonable correlation between the two

(Wartenburg & Holmqvist, 2018). According to Dosen and Brkljacic (2018)

that the audience take into account the content and the look of the front

page before purchasing it.

Complex designs that use jumble of colors should be refrained as

these make reading more difficult and effect perception because this would

lead to problems in readability and perception. Utt and Pasternack (1986)

found that college students gave moderate to good rating to most of the

newspapers on most of the dimensions, further discovering that modern-

format newspapers received higher ratings than traditional designs. Matos

and Delfino (2014) said that people perceive modern newspapers as more

pleasurable and relaxing. Moreover, further research proved that complex

designs tend to distance the reader from the page rather than attract

attentions. The best design is the plainest one (Ozerkan, Kartopu & Ayar,

n.d.).

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

25

Research also revealed editor tactics on attracting young readers.

 

Tactics such as understanding the audience, not trivializing news, lessening

grip on traditional news production practices, and not resisting new media

(Haught, 2010).

Overall, every single element, even the smallest element of a

newspaper page can “affect the perceptual and cognitive processes as well

as the visual impact.” (Dosen and Brkljacic, 2018) Product or newspaper

acceptance depends mostly on how it sends across its aesthetic and

semantic code of the audience. After all, the main premise of graphic design

is composition, so changes can generate a different response from the

audiences (Dosen and Brkljacic, 2018).

 

However, despite the studies done on the correlation of newspaper

packaging and consumer behaviour, there are no recent studies in the

Philippines about it.

 

Visual Learning and Perception

 

Human

beings

are

predominantly

visual

creatures,

and

our

computing environments reflect this (Romih, 2016). It is a thought echoed

by Harris Eisenberg in 2014 when he also stated that human beings are

visual creatures, and that organizations should start implementing new

solutions for leveraging data visualization.

 

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

26

The world is currently undergoing a “paradigm shift” (Gangwer, n.d.).

 

Gangwer said that we are moving from a period in which the language of

production and manufacturing dominated our way of seeing the world but

now, ideas about information and communication shape our discourse.

Sight is a staggeringly important sense for sighted people. The greatest

possible attention needs to be given to the visual aspects of a marketing

campaign, including how the product is presented, how it is packaged, and

how it is promoted (Carlson, 2018).

 

Consumer Behavior

 

Consumer behavior is the psychology of marketing. According to

Lars Perner from the University of Southern California, consumer behavior

is the “psychology of how consumers think, feel, reason, and select between

alternatives.” It involves the study of how people make decisions in utilizing

goods and services (Perner, n.d.).

 

In newspapers, Gerald Wilkinson (1972) said that there are a lot of

factors that affect newspaper readership. Such factors that affect the

consumers

in

terms

of

newspaper

choices

are many

and

complex

(Wilkinson, 1972).

 

In different products, brand popularity has the capacity to increase

quality, uniqueness, and esteem (Hendrasaputra & Lunarjanto, 2009). They

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

27

recommended that using brand popularity should be used as an advertising

 

tool for attracting more consumers.

Proximity is another identified factor in consumer behavior. Access

Development, an American-based network of merchant discounts and

rewards, said in their National Consumer Study Summary that if a retailer is

not nearby, consumers are less likely to buy a product. Proximity or

accessibility is an essential consideration in a consumer’s decision (Access

Development, n.d.).

Price is also an important decision driver in consumer selection (Stax

Inc., 2016). While consumers select other secondary factors in buying

newspapers, price can cross segments and industry verticals (Stax Inc.,

2016). Content is also a factor in consumer behavior. News writers should

create content that people should care about and would inspire people

(Olson, 2012). Credibility of the newspaper and its content is also a factor

in consumer behavior towards newspapers (Al-Oraibi, 2015). Mina Al-Oraibi

from the World Economic Forum expressed that the choice in choosing the

publication to buy or the news to share online shall rest on credibility.

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

28

Chapter 3

 

Conceptual Framework

The redesign of the PDI triggered a response in the readers of the

broadsheet. This brought the idea of visual communication in newspapers

as a new way of possibly helping the print industry to rise again and get

more audience engagement. With this observation, this chapter presented

a conceptual framework regarding the design and layout of newspapers and

the audience reception towards it.

Gestalt Theory of Design. Gestalt Theory of Design was utilized in

this study as a means of finding out what the audience’s reaction towards

the different components on the front page (See Figure 4).

audience’s reaction towards the different components on the front page (See Figure 4). Figure 4. Conceptual

Figure 4. Conceptual Framework

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

29

Philippine Daily Inquirer. This is the topmost part of the conceptual

 

framework. The PDI issued a redesign of their newspaper which was looked

at in this study through the Gestalt Theory of Design.

Similarity. This component looks at what components of the

newspaper are similar enough to make it look unified. A unified layout

pertains to the technical devices: font, pictures, font size, headlines, and

placement of the text and pictures.

Continuation or Continuity. This component looks at the elements

of the front page that compel the eye to move in a certain direction. What

was the reader compelled to look at first glance, articles and pictures in

horizontal or vertical format?

Closure. This component looks at the parts of the front page that are

packed tight and leave empty spaces. Were the readers more likely to read

newspapers that are more compact as opposed to newspapers with loose

spacing?

Proximity. This component looks at the parts of the front page that

are placed together in a certain distance to make it look unified. Were the

elements in the newspaper, such as the colored text boxes, etc., smartly

placed?

Figure or Ground. This component looks at the part of the front

page that gives the audience a clear perspective that it is separated from

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

30

the background. Would the readers be able to clearly point out the banner

 

story on the front page?

 

Symmetry and Order. This component looks at the parts of the front

page that give the reader the idea that the parts are balanced. Were the

pictures and articles evenly distributed throughout the front page?

 

Audience

Perception.

In

relation

to

feedback,

the

audience

perception would look at whether the audience preferred the current or old

layout of the front page of the PDI.

 

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

31

Chapter 4

   

Method

 

The study, after the review of the related literature, used qualitative

method with quantified data to find out how design and layout could amplify

the print platform of the PDI. The goal was to determine the audience

perception and their preferences in the design and layout of the front page

of PDI through the Gestalt Principle. To discover such, the research was

conducted in a sequential fashion, where it first identified the elements

present in the front page using Dr. Mario Garcia’s 2016 presentation of the

PDI front page. Subsequently, the study made use of a survey to know the

reading habits and newspaper design preferences of its respondents.

Following the survey, several respondents were chosen for a focus group

discussion to further delve into the readers’ design preferences on the front

page’s

design

and

layout.

The

questions

presented

in

the

survey

questionnaire were derived from previous literature, while the questions

used in the focus group discussion were grounded on the respondents’

answers and from the Gestalt Principle. In doing so, the results would

answer the question of whether or not the design and layout could help

amplify the print platform and increase reader attraction.

 

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

32

4.1 Design

 

The design of the thesis was on a comparative-exploratory scale.

The comparative aspect of the study manifested at the contrast between

the previous and current layout of the PDI through the perception of the

audience. The previous and the current layout of the PDI were compared

through their visual appeal to the audiences and the probability of the

audience in buying and reading the print platform.

The exploratory part of the thesis further examined the audience

perception towards the current layout of the PDI. It intended to explore if the

audience preferred the current layout compared to the old one or the other

way around, and if they were more encouraged to buy and read the

newspaper after the redesign.

To specifically point out the elements in the front page, Dr. Mario

Garcia’s illustration of the PDI’s front page was used as the grounds for the

identification of the elements present in the new PDI front page. Garcia, one

of the men behind the new PDI layout, cited the colors and fonts present in

the current design.

A survey was then administered in order to find out the reading habits

and design preferences of its respondents. The respondents were asked if

they know about the PDI’s redesign and if they were reading its print

counterpart. Furthermore, they were also asked to scale their attraction

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

33

towards the two front pages’ layout and design. Lastly, the respondents

 

were probed about their preferences in buying and reading the PDI between

its previous and current layout.

For the latter part of the study, a focus group discussion was

conducted to find out the reasoning behind the respondents’ answers. They

were randomly chosen from the survey respondents and were further

questioned about their design preferences and reading experience. The

focus group discussion also included questions on how the respondents felt

about the current layout, and their tendencies to buy and read the PDI

because of its updated design.

Results from the survey were illustrated in tables. Meanwhile,

quotations and highlights from the focus group discussion would help

establish more concrete responses.

4.2. Selection and Respondents

One copy from the previous and current front page of the PDI were

used for the study. For the previous layout of the PDI, the front page used

was from August 29, 2016 (See Figure 1). On the other hand, the thesis

utilized the front page of the PDI last June 08, 2017 (See Figure 2) to

represent the current layout of the newspaper. Both were chosen based on

content and the elements present in the layout. Both newspapers had the

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

34

same subject, which was about conflict in Marawi, to eliminate biases on

the news content. And both newspapers chosen contained the commonly

present elements usually found in the PDI broadsheet.

present elements usually found in the PDI broadsheet. Figure 1. The August 29, 2016 front page

Figure 1. The August 29, 2016 front page of the PDI.

PDI broadsheet. Figure 1. The August 29, 2016 front page of the PDI. Figure 2. The

Figure 2. The June 08, 2017 front page of the PDI.

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

35

Both newspapers were utilized in the presentation of the front pages

 

during the survey and the focus group discussion, in fulfillment of one of the

objectives of the research.

There were 385 respondents chosen at random through stratified

random sampling. They vary from students to individuals in Manila who may

or may not necessarily be employed. They were also either readers or non-

readers of the PDI broadsheet. The respondents of the study did not have

any formal education and background behind visual arts and techniques.

For the latter part of the research, 12 respondents were chosen at

random from the original 385 to participate in the focus group discussion.

They were a diverse group of readers and non-readers of the PDI and had

varying answers in terms of their preferences between the previous and

current layout of the newspaper.

4.3. Data Measure

The qualitative study made use of a survey questionnaire and an

interview guide in fulfillment of the different objectives cited in the research.

Survey Questionnaire. The survey questions were derived from

reviewed literature. The questions were about the respondents’ reading

habits, such as how frequent do they buy and read the newspaper; their

awareness of the PDI and its rethink; their visual preferences towards the

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

36

current and previous layout, wherein they were asked to scale the both

 

layouts’ visual appeal; and their behavior in buying and reading the PDI after

its rethink, wherein the respondents were asked if they were more likely to

buy and read the PDI with the new layout. See Appendix C for the survey

questionnaire.

Interview Guide. The interview questions directed towards the

respondents were based on their answers from the survey questionnaire

and the Gestalt Principle. The groups were further probed on their

preferences between the current and previous layout, and the likelihood of

the chosen respondents to buy and read the PDI after its redesign.

Furthermore, the respondents were asked about how they felt about each

element and the overall layout of the newspaper. See Appendix C for the

interview guide.

4.4. Data Collection Procedures

The research compared the previous and current design and layout

of the PDI through the audience’s response towards them. The front pages

used were taken from news outlet’s archives in their website and were

reviewed in terms of news and design content. The chosen issues were

PDI’s front page last August 29, 2016 to represent the previous layout, and

PDI’s front page last June 08, 2017 for the current layout. Prior to the actual

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

37

survey, a pretest was conducted to ten individuals to evaluate the

 

cohesiveness of the questionnaire and the effectiveness of the chosen front

pages.

 

After

the

final

revision

of

the

questionnaire,

a

survey

was

administered to 385 individuals who were residing in Manila. While

answering the survey, the respondents were presented with the previous

layout of the PDI first, followed by the current layout, and finally, both front

pages were presented side-by-side for comparison. The answers were

coded and 12 people were chosen at random to participate in the focus

group discussion.

 
 

The

focus

group

discussions

were

held at

different

times

to

accommodate to the schedule of the chosen participants. No specific time

limit had been implemented to allow more information to be shared and

follow-up questions to be asked. The 12 interviewees were divided into

groups and were interviewed separately. They were still presented with the

same front pages and were asked to further elaborate their answers from

the survey, with added questions regarding the paper’s overall look. The

answers of the respondents were recorded, transcribed, and then were

used to further concretize the study’s findings and conclusion.

 

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

38

4.5.

Data Analysis

   

The

responses

from

the

survey

were

coded

using

an

Excel

spreadsheet (See Appendix B). The answers were interpreted by a

statistician, Miss Virginia Arceo, from the University of Santo Tomas,

College of Commerce to accurately measure the answers and the levels in

terms of the scale-based questions. The answers were illustrated in tables

for easier comprehension of the results.

 
 

The answers in the focus group discussion were recorded and

transcribed to ensure the accuracy of the quotations. The answers were

then substantiated using the review of related literature and the Gestalt

Theory. The findings of the sequential procedures helped in identifying and

determining if the design and layout amplified the print platform of the PDI.

4.6.

Ethical Considerations

 

The previous front pages of the PDI were looked up online from the

PDI’s website. Respondents for the survey were chosen at random and

were asked if they were willing to participate in a focus group discussion.

Twelve of those who agreed were then randomly selected and then

contacted through their given contact number and email requesting their

participation in the study.

 

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

39

The focus group discussion was audio-recorded for data gathering,

 

but the respondents had the choice to refuse to be recorded. They were

also given the free will to answer in the language they were comfortable

with, either in Filipino

or

in

English. On the

other hand, the survey

respondents also had a consent form signed saying that they agree that the

information they put were used for research purposes.

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS Chapter 5.0 Results Based on the
UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS Chapter 5.0 Results Based on the
UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS Chapter 5.0 Results Based on the
UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS Chapter 5.0 Results Based on the

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

Chapter 5.0 Results Based on the findings from the survey and the interview, the audiences
Chapter 5.0
Results
Based on the findings from the survey and the interview, the
audiences said that they were likely to read and buy the current layout of
the
PDI
and
generally
preferred
it
over
the
previous
one.
Further
investigation
showed
that
design
did
matter
to
the
audiences
and
considered it as a factor in purchasing a newspaper.
Respondents profile. The table below shows how often the
respondents read a newspaper and it showed that 48.1 percent of the 385
respondents rarely read newspapers. It also shows that 24.9 percent never
read newspapers, yet there are still 14 respondents who always read
newspapers.
Table 1. Reading frequency of respondents towards newspapers
Frequency
Percent
Never
96
24.9
Rarely
185
48.1
Sometimes
62
16.1
Valid
Often
28
7.3
Always
14
3.6
Total
385
100.0
Never 96 24.9 Rarely 185 48.1 Sometimes 62 16.1 Valid Often 28 7.3 Always 14 3.6
Never 96 24.9 Rarely 185 48.1 Sometimes 62 16.1 Valid Often 28 7.3 Always 14 3.6

40

Never 96 24.9 Rarely 185 48.1 Sometimes 62 16.1 Valid Often 28 7.3 Always 14 3.6
UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS The second question that looked into
UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS The second question that looked into
UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS The second question that looked into
UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS The second question that looked into

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

The second question that looked into the reading habit of the

respondents answered the question of how often they bought newspapers

and 49.6 percent said that they never buy newspapers. However, there are

still 124 respondents who rarely buy and 19 respondents who always buy

newspapers. (Refer to Table 2)

Table 2. Buying frequency of respondents towards newspapers

 

Frequency

Percent

 

Never

191

49.6

Rarely

124

32.2

Valid

Sometimes

34

8.8

Often

17

4.4

Always

19

4.9

Total

385

100.0

The respondents were also asked to choose the top three factors

that they consider when choosing a newspaper. Based on the findings,

Credibility, Design, and the Front Page were the highest chosen factors

when picking a newspaper (Refer to Table 3).

Table 3. Factors in choosing a newspaper.

Frequency

Percent

Valid

Popularity

151

13.07

Design

224

19.39

3. Factors in choosing a newspaper. Frequency Percent Valid Popularity 151 13.07 Design 224 19.39 41
3. Factors in choosing a newspaper. Frequency Percent Valid Popularity 151 13.07 Design 224 19.39 41

41

3. Factors in choosing a newspaper. Frequency Percent Valid Popularity 151 13.07 Design 224 19.39 41
UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS Price 127 11.00 Accuracy 195 16.88
UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS Price 127 11.00 Accuracy 195 16.88
UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS Price 127 11.00 Accuracy 195 16.88
UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS Price 127 11.00 Accuracy 195 16.88

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

Price

127

11.00

Accuracy

195

16.88

Front Page

209

18.10

Credibility

241

20.87

Others

8

0.69

Total

1,155

100.0

The respondents also showed that 210 individuals (or 54.6 percent)

do not buy PDI from the 385 respondents, while 175 (45.5%) still buy the

newspaper. (Refer to Table 4).

Table 4. Response of the respondents if they still buy PDI.

 

Frequency

Percent

 

Yes

175

45.5

Valid

No

210

54.6

Total

385

100.0

In terms of reading the newspaper, 241 (62.6 percent) of the

respondents said that they read the PDI broadsheet while 144 (or 37.4

percent) percent said that they do read PDI. (Refer to Table 5).

Table 5. Response of the respondents if they still read PDI.

 

Frequency

Percent

Valid

Yes

241

62.6

5. Response of the respondents if they still read PDI.   Frequency Percent Valid Yes 241
5. Response of the respondents if they still read PDI.   Frequency Percent Valid Yes 241

42

5. Response of the respondents if they still read PDI.   Frequency Percent Valid Yes 241
UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS No 144 37.4 Total 385 100.0
UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS No 144 37.4 Total 385 100.0
UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS No 144 37.4 Total 385 100.0
UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS No 144 37.4 Total 385 100.0

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

No

144

37.4

Total

385

100.0

The respondent’s awareness towards PDI was also questioned.

Majority of the respondents (325 out of 385) said that they were aware of

PDI, while 60 (15.6 percent) of them said they are not. (Refer to Table 6).

Table 6. Awareness on the print platform of PDI.

 

Frequency

Percent

Valid

Yes

325

84.4

No

60

15.6

Total

385

100.0

Lastly, out of the 385 respondents, there were only 69 (17.9 percent)

people who said that they were aware of PDI’s change in design and layout

in 2016 while the other 316 (82.2 percent) of the respondents said that they

were not aware of the change. (Refer to Table 7).

Table 7. Awareness of the respondents on PDI’s redesign

 

Frequency

Percent

Valid

Yes

69

17.9

No

316

82.2

Total

385

100.0

redesign   Frequency Percent Valid Yes 69 17.9 No 316 82.2 Total 385 100.0 43
redesign   Frequency Percent Valid Yes 69 17.9 No 316 82.2 Total 385 100.0 43

43

redesign   Frequency Percent Valid Yes 69 17.9 No 316 82.2 Total 385 100.0 43

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

44

Components of design and layout of the PDI. Dr. Mario Garcia

 

(2016) wrote about the shift of the PDI to the current layout. He, alongside

Adonis Durado, creative director of the Times of Oman, and Ralph “Apiong”

Bagares led the creative team in the rethink of the PDI.

Their goal was to “create a distinct look and feel, and content, to

separate the daily edition from Sundays.” (Garcia, 2016).

The PDI shifted to a modular approach in terms of advertising, which

Garcia said was “something new and different for Filipino newspapers.”

Garcia (2016) said that the modular design brings order to the pages where

the advertisement of their clients appear.

In terms of typography, the PDI makes use of the Sindelar font for

their body, Mallory for the headlines, Druk for the section headers, while

the redesigned logo of PDI utilizes the Fritz Quadrata font. The letter “Q”

in the logo and icons for their online counterparts was worked on by Adonis

Durado.

Primary colors all appear on the front page of the PDI. According to

Garcia, “color is a key element of the Inquirer’s rethink.” The current design

of the PDI puts emphasis on “vibrant primary colors.” (Garcia, 2016)

Comparison between the previous and current layouts based

on perception. The results showed a significant difference between the old

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS and the new layout in terms
UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS and the new layout in terms
UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS and the new layout in terms
UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS and the new layout in terms

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

and the new layout in terms of the perception of the audiences in the

presentation of the front pages.

This thesis made use of a 0.05 significance level. If the results of the

T-Test were higher than the declared levels, then the change is insignificant.

However, if the results were lesser than the declared level, then it means

the change is significant.

Table 8. T-Test for Equality of Means

 

Significance

Mean Difference

 

Equal

variances

   

Color Scheme

assumed

 

.000

-.579

Equal

variances

not

   

assumed

.000

-.579

 

Equal

variances

   

Font

assumed

 

.000

-.382

Equal

variances

not

   

assumed

.000

-.382

 

Equal

variances

   

Font Size

assumed

 

.000

-.397

Equal

variances

not

   

assumed

.000

-.397

 

Equal

variances

   

Placement

assumed

 

.000

-.540

Equal

variances

not

   

assumed

.000

-.540

Placement assumed   .000 -.540 Equal variances not     assumed .000 -.540 45
Placement assumed   .000 -.540 Equal variances not     assumed .000 -.540 45

45

Placement assumed   .000 -.540 Equal variances not     assumed .000 -.540 45
UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS   Equal variances     Spacing
UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS   Equal variances     Spacing
UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS   Equal variances     Spacing
UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS   Equal variances     Spacing

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

 

Equal

variances

   

Spacing

assumed

 

.000

-.462

Equal

variances

not

   

assumed

.000

-.462

 

Equal

variances

   

Overall

assumed

 

.000

-.392

Equal

variances

not

   

assumed

.000

-.392

With all of the significance level of the elements at .000, it is safe to

say that there is indeed a significant change between the old and the new

layout in terms of perception.

It can also be noted that color has the mean difference of -0.579, the

highest out of all the elements. This means that color has the biggest

change in perception in the audiences among all of the elements in the front

page of the PDI.

In terms of visual appeal, more than half of the respondents thought

that the new layout was visually appealing with 78.7 percent or 303 of the

385 saying yes. Forty respondents said they were not sure, while 42 people

said that the new layout was not visually appealing.

Table 9. Respondents’ response if the new layout was visually appealing

 

Frequency

Percent

Valid

No

42

10.9

response if the new layout was visually appealing   Frequency Percent Valid No 42 10.9 46
response if the new layout was visually appealing   Frequency Percent Valid No 42 10.9 46

46

response if the new layout was visually appealing   Frequency Percent Valid No 42 10.9 46
UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS Not Sure 40 10.4 Yes 303
UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS Not Sure 40 10.4 Yes 303
UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS Not Sure 40 10.4 Yes 303
UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS Not Sure 40 10.4 Yes 303

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

Not Sure

40

10.4

Yes

303

78.7

Total

385

100.0

The respondents were then asked if they thought that the old layout

was visually appealing and 52 percent or 200 of the 385 said yes, while 95

said not sure, and 90 people said that the old layout was not visually

appealing.

Table

appealing

10.

Respondents’

response

if

the

old

layout

was

visually

 

Frequency

Percent

 

No

90

23.4

Valid

Not Sure

95

24.7

Yes

200

52

Total

385

100.0

Comparison between the previous and current layouts based

on Gestalt Principle. Through the Gestalt Principle components of the front

page were identified; components such as color, font, font size, pictures,

text and its placement. It was also through this principle that the researchers

were able to identify components such as the distance of the elements, the

this principle that the researchers were able to identify components such as the distance of the
this principle that the researchers were able to identify components such as the distance of the

47

this principle that the researchers were able to identify components such as the distance of the

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

48

distribution of elements throughout the front page, the organization of the

 

elements, and the unification of all the components as a whole.

After the survey was conducted, 12 respondents were randomly

chosen to be interviewed where questions were asked to rouse the six

principles of Gestalt through the comparison of the old and new layout. In

the interview only two out of the twelve respondents chose the old layout as

their preference while the remaining 10 prefer the new layout. Although,

there were three respondents who chose the new layout who said that they

would still read the newspaper even if it had the old layout.

“It’s a

newspaper so I would read it,” the three respondents felt like if it were

“necessary” they would read the newspaper with the old layout, but if it could

be helped they would prefer the new layout. Moreover, when asked how

they felt about the old layout most answers revolved around the words

“okay”, “classic”, and “traditional” but when compared with the new layout

that had a “pop of color”, “organization”, and “sleek and clean” they would

much rather read and buy the new layout.

Similarity is the first component of the Gestalt Principle, this looks

into the elements of the design and layout of the front page and how unified

and similar they look. The elements for comparison pertains to the font, font

size, pictures, text, and placement.

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

49

 

Majority of the respondents think and feel like the old layout is “text

 

heavy” so much so that the main story is no longer highlighted. On the other

hand there were those who prefer the old layout because of the picture in

the front page that really captured the audiences. “At first glance,” they were

able to “see the picture and tell what the news was all about.” When asked

if the old layout present a unified look, half said yes, five people said no,

while one respondent was not sure. Those who said yes, said that the old

layout presented a unified look “in a sense that it is compact,” while those

who said no think that the fonts “varied” it was not so “organized” and it was

overall “scattered.”

 

In terms of the new layout, majority of the respondents liked it better

because it is more “enticing” to the readers. There were also “more colors”,

which made it “more eye-catching”. One of the elements that was looked

into

the most was the difference in color. The old layout was more

“traditional with the black and white” and only displaying color through

pictures. On the other hand, the colors of the new layout is “bolder” and

“darker,” respondents think that the stories “pop” because of the emphasis

that the color gives. One particular respondent said and acknowledged that

readers are more “visual” and so their “attention” can be easily caught by

colors that were used in the design and layout. When asked if the new layout

looks unified, all 12 respondents said yes, all the elects are “tied” down to

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

50

one another, the pictures, text, color and placement “complement” each

 

other giving it a “cleaner” and “more organized” look as opposed to the old

layout.

Continuation is a component of the Gestalt principle that looks into

what the readers would first notice or read at first glance. Most respondents

said that they were taken by the pictures that were presented, while others

were captured by the bold and all capital letters of the banner story headline.

In comparison, when it came to the old layout it was the picture that they

first noticed and everything else seemed “scattered” but when it came to the

new layout they first identified the banner story headline. While observing

the respondents true enough most of their eyes moved in a “horizontal”

direction following the direction of the headline above. There were also

those who said that the colors of the new layout made all the difference

because the different colors enticed their eyes to look towards a certain

direction.

Closure is the component of the Gestalt Principle that looks into the

spacing of the elements and how compact the elements are from one

another. Most respondents did not like the spacing between the texts and

pictures in the old layout. “The spaces between the texts are too close

together,” that from afar it could seem like it is one story when in fact there

are a lot of stories shown. When it comes to the new layout, the respondents

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

51

found it more appealing because “the spaces are more organized compared

 

to the old layout.”

Proximity would look into the placement of the elements and if the

elements of the newspaper were smartly placed. This was one component

which the respondents noticed from the beginning. The differences in

placement between the old layout and the new layout is very evident.

Majority of the respondents think that the old layout is very “scattered” in

terms of “placement” they were not able to identify which picture belongs to

what story because of the poor placement. Although the picture for the

headline was praised by the respondents and commended it for its

placement. There were also respondents who said that they would read the

new layout “because of the placement of the elements.” It is more organized

with different categories for the different news. Although, the respondents

picked up that the new layout looked more like a website which was given

off by the placement of the elements. When it comes to the new layout’s

placement it has a “system” it is more unified because of the placement of

the elements.

Figure or Ground is the component that looks into the part of the

front page that gives the audience a clear perspective that it is separated

from the background. The question for this component is if the respondents

were able to point out the banner story which they were able to do so for

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

52

both the old and the new layout. In the old layout it was the picture that

 

distinguished the banner story for the respondents, although there were

respondents who think that the old layout is “too text heavy” that it was not

able to point out the main story. For the new layout the respondents found

it easier because it was obvious enough to point out the main story and the

other stories in the front page were organized in a way that it was separated

from the banner story.

Symmetry and Order is the last component of the Gestalt principle

this looks into the parts of the front page that gives the readers the idea that

the parts are balanced. The respondents did not feel like the old layout was

balance or organized at all, it was too “scattered” and “messy” unlike the

new layout where there was a “system” to the organization. In the new

layout, there was a “balance between the text and pictures, and the

placement of elements.” The news were compartmentalized and the reader

would know which section of the paper to go just from the front page. The

new layout was “organized” in a way that it divided and categorized but

nevertheless it still presented a whole paper.

The audience’s perception towards the old and new layout are very

clear. Although there were those who prefer the old layout, majority are still

more likely to buy and read the new layout because of its design and layout.

The respondents think that the new layout is “simpler” and it would get the

UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS FACULTY OF ARTS AND LETTERS

53

“attention” of the readers “quickly”. It is overall more appealing and it

 

stimulates the visual senses more due to the color, font, and placement,

especially in the morning when readers would often read a newspaper.

The respondents were also asked if they thought design is important

in newspaper packaging and all 12 respondents said yes. Design is what

the readers would first and foremost see, it is a way to “further entice

readers”. The respondents acknowledged that content is still the forefront

of the paper but design is a factor on how “the customer will perceive the

newspaper at first sight; people buy on first instinct,” and if they see a well-

designed newspaper they are more likely to buy the newspaper. One

respondent also emphasized that most people are visual learners and if

they see something that interests them like pictures and colors they are

more likely to retain information and learn from it.

The last question that was asked to the respondents was if they

though design mattered in selling newspapers and although there are those

who said that content is more important, majority of the respondents said

that design matters. “Newspaper is visual media. Appearance is connected