3 responses to “Pages From: Michael Smith | Carolina Forest Chronicle

  1. Will C. Franklin


    Overall, good work here. I’ll be the first to say I am not (nor will I ever be) a big fan of centered headlines, however I know some newspapers handcuff their designers with this style choice. As for all-capped headlines, I think designers really need to think about using them before using them. Personally, I prefer to use all-capped headlines for major news and events (9/11 comes to mind). Otherwise, if you use it a lot, you run the risk of losing the impact of having an all-capped headline.

    That being said, let’s look at your pages. Your first page, I really like the use of your main photo. It’s very colorful and I’m sure it turned out looking very nice in the rack. On days when you have absolutely nothing going on, it’s nice to just go with what you have every once in awhile. I think you made a solid choice here.

    Your second page, I like what you did with the centerpiece. The only change I would have recommended with this page is moving the vehicle story in the column on the left outside to the right. You wouldn’t have to worry about trapped type there and I think it would have framed your centerpiece better. Nice idea of cutting out Tim Hudson and using an action photo. A lot of people wouldn’t have done that, but I like using a smaller action shot with the package.

    As for your last page, even though you wanted to go with one big penny, I like the use of the four pennies (brings the tax in bold clarity … readers see one penny and don’t think much, but if they see more than one, I think it grabs their attention quickly).

    As for trying to emulate The State (even though they are a sister paper to my paper) I question a LOT of their designs. Same goes with the Charlotte Observer. Some times what they do works, but for the most part, I do tend to question their decisions. Overall, designing a page has to be about feeling … what feels right to you, the designer.

    I think you have some good work here. Keep it up. Maybe rethink the centered headlines, though :)

  2. I don’t mind centered headlines – not my favorite; but I don’t like all cap headlines at all, particularly when there are two on the same page, as in the second example. I wonder about the editorial decision to have sports on the front page, but that’s just me, I know you are working with what is given. I like the four pennies, and hope it ties in directly with the content (be nice if it was a 4 cent increase, for example.) Overall, clean and clear.

  3. The cap headlines kind of got me like the others said. It’s kind of hard to read and gives a Windows 2.0 Print Banner look to it. The headlines being centred never bother me. I prefer left align, but centred can work if you’re playing with white space in the rest of your design.

    I like the baseball guy. I don’t know why that’d be a problem, as Paula points out. At the community level, sports is the most often read item by far.

    That page as well has a nice clean look about it. The top page’s main photo at the fold confuses the eye… you look to it, then the top headline (which isn’t associated) then back down again.

    The four pennies… why not just scan in another penny at 600 dpi and make it big?

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