Does Size Matter in the global economy?

November 22, 2006

An interesting observation I’ve made while I was away: size sometimes is different. It’s odd, but it’s the little things you notice: the fact that the toilets are full of water and are low to the ground, that 10c coins are smaller than 5c coins….and in North America a broadsheet newspaper isn’t the same size as it is in Australia. The National Post in Canada…or the NY Times for that matter are suppose to be broadsheets….but they aren’t….they’re more like tall sheets as opposed to broadsheets, they’re the same height as an Australian broadsheet (think the SMH or The Australian) but width wise their like a tabloid. Bizarre to me, but it shows the point that although we call something an Apple in one part of the world, the Apple may be different in another part of it. Does size matter? In design, is a layout that you like going to be acceptable elsewhere? From font size, line spacing…catering to the various screen widths. Food for thought.

3 responses to Does Size Matter in the global economy?

  1. Duncan, that size is called a Berliner. The Guardian recently moved over to it. Easier to read on a commuter train, apparently.

    And broadsheet never defined an actual size as such, just the biggest size in a paper batch, so it varies enormously.

  2. I think you’re onto something from a design perspective – it’s why some products that absolutely dominate in one market don’t penetrate at all in others. It simply looks wrong. People see that particular thing (a newspaper, a phone) in a particular way and when they see a new product that’s supposedly the same but whose form is totally different, they often have a problem believing it will serve their purposes.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Smage downsizing: following US trend - April 26, 2007

    […] Iconic Australian newspapers the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age (The Smage collectively) are downsizing, not only jobs but print size as well, shriking to the tall sheet size I blogged about noticing in North America last November. It’s been 10 years since I read a print version on the SMH regularly, and I remember it being a particular pain (indeed near on impossible) on Sydney trains, so the new size can only help. […]