JUDY LYTLE, Graphics Department supervisor at the Ludington Dailly News (a client newspaper I redesigned in 2007), sends along this page with a free form ad.
Says Judy: “Nice job on the blog—saw your request for pages and wanted to share our first ‘free-form’ ad (or whatever people are calling them, there’s probably a name for it)…also wondering how your readers are dealing with handling these non-traditional ad spaces?
I built the ad to go across the top, down the right column and all the way across the bottom, and turned it over to editorial to fill…was kind of disappointed with the end result, since [the newsroom] threw a photo and all those rules on there, but it looks OK…my original spec just had two or three stories and no pics, so [the ad] really dominated the page.”
FROM ED: I really like the ad, Judy! It’s one of the better free form ads I’ve seen and it shows what can be done by a good designer. I wonder how the newsroom reacted to the concept—most newsroom purists would gag but these are different times in our business. The ad is fun to look at and I especially like the way it nudges into two of the stories (though I suspect there are purists hyperventilating as they read this). We can argue about the concept of free form ads from here to kingdom come, but I still think this is very execution.
What are your thoughts, folks? For it? Against it? (I feel another poll coming on!) Does it work? Not work? Does doing this make you gag? Suggestions?