Dr. Mario García is the leader of García Media, where he’s led the design and redesign of more than 450 newspapers around the world, from The Wall Street Journal to the Lawrence (KS) Journal-World. He’s embraced new media, too, particularly the power of tablets to enhance the reading experience (catch his online design tutorial Design for Publications in the Tablet Age). HOW recently outlined García’s process for creating The iPad Design Lab, a how-to manual on designing for tablet devices.
A trained journalist, García understands as well as any modern graphic designer the need to translate your creative and technical skills from print to web. He’ll be speaking at the HOW Design Conference in San Francisco, as part of the dedicated Interactive Design Track that focuses on helping print designers transition their skills into web design.
We recently interviewed him about his career and his HOW presentation.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a graphic designer?
When I was in college and became editor of my student newspaper.
What was your first job in the design field?
Actually I was an intern at The Miami News and started doing page layout and loved it.
What’s some of the most valuable advice that you think you could bestow on other designers aspiring for a similar career path?
Look at everything around you. Ideas are everywhere, from a bottle of mineral water, to a chair to a billboard. Jot down ideas. They will become useful one day.
What are some of your favorite projects?
Converting The Wall Street Journal from all black and white to color; taking Germany’s Die Zeit from a text driven newspaper to one where design and text have a great marriage. El Tiempo of Colombia, bringing it from six daily sections to three for modern readers.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned during design career?
That the audience has a greater tolerance for change than editors and even designers themselves.
When you get stuck in a creative rut, how do you break free?
I go for a run, and then I am like a new man.
What does San Francisco bring to mind? What do you plan to do while you’re there?
Good runs by the Embarcadero. Great food. Great bars. The most exciting city in the US.
Tell us a little about your presentation at the HOW Design Conference.
It is the subject of my new digital book, The iPad Design Lab: Storytelling in the age of the tablet. I’m glad to be sharing with the audience that change is the first step in getting your publication to the next level.
Catch Garcia along with Christopher Butler, David Blatner, David Sherwin, Chris Converse, Patrick McNeil and other web design experts at the HOW Design Conference, June 23–26. Freelance digital designers: Build the business skills you need with sessions on marketing, client relations and best practices at the Creative Freelancer Conference, June 22–24.