Jacek Utko is a newspaper, magazine and web designer. He is working all over the world as a media consultant. He redesigned dozens of newspapers, magazines and websites in Poland, Sweden, Holland, Denmark, Belgium, Norway, Finland, Austria, Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Singapore, South Africa, USA and Pakistan. He was design director for Bonnier Business Press International, responsible for publications in Central Europe, Scandinavia and Russia. But press is not his only area of interest, some of his other projects include the redesign of Lonely Planet travel guide in Australia.
He received almost 50 awards in various design competitions. Three of the newspapers he redesigned–Poland’s Puls Biznesu, Estonia’s Aripaev and recently Belgium’s De Morgen–were named ‘World’s Best Designed Newspaper’ by the Society for News Design. Two newspapers he recently redesigned: Het Parool from Amsterdam and De Morgen from Belgium, were recognized as European Newspaper of the Year in 2015 and 2016. Many other redesigns (Singapore, South Africa, Bulgaria, Austria, Lithuania, Russia) were awarded in international competitions. He used to specialize in cover design, with three of his covers being named ‘Cover of the year’ in Poland 3 years in a row in the biggest national press competition.
He likes to work with big media publishers. Working for biggest publisher in Scandinavia – Bonnier; biggest publisher in South East Asia – Singapore Press Holdings; biggest publisher in Africa – Naspers; biggest publisher in Benelux – De Persgroep; and now working for biggest publisher in USA – Gannett, helping to reshape the largest network of local newspapers in America.
He was a speaker at the conferences in 35 countries around the world, like Adobe Max, Online Publishers Forum, Icograda, Typo Berlin, World Newspaper Congress by WAN, Publish Asia, AOP London, Festival of Journalism in Peruggia, SND and many more. In 2009 he was a speaker at the TED conference in Long Beach with his famous talk: ‘Can Good Design Save Newspapers’.
He is recently working a lot on website design but newspapers will always remain his first and last love.
His approach to each project is very content driven. His experience of working in many newsrooms for almost 20 years is priceless. You can achieve success only when design is in line with your strategy and content. He believes in applying design thinking in every aspect of the brand. In media there are two things more important than just making nice pages: it’s storytelling and overall reader’s experience.