FROM DAVE CLARK, Editor at the Big Rapids (MI) Pioneer:
“Love the blog, love your books. I use your book and Tim Harrower’s to help teach my designers. Thank you for all you do!”
Following area half dozeon pages from Dave, along with his notes. My comments at bottom.
This was our take on what the Bakersfield Californian does so spectacularly every day. Our 1A art was a little week, but we had a wonderful promo image of the new Star Trek movie that was coming out. So we played our best art big. It had great box appeal.
Remember when newspapers used to be fun? I do. This humorous header was done to 1) grab your attention, 2) provide a smile after a few days of pretty hard and dry local political coverage. I don’t feel it diminishes the importance of the content on the page – I never pass on Time or Newsweek because I think the cover design is “too light.”
Good, solid, straight-forward design. Big lead hed, lots of bullets to get basic ideas across. Clean.
An example of letting the photos do the talking. Also, the wine color header looked great in the box. This was a solid “Plan C” after a couple of other stories went south on us (for a variety of reasons).
We played with a submitted map to try to tie two related stories together. Very clean. It turned out nice, and the header of the kids in the water from a different story really helped build on the “water” theme.
A classic circus take on a story about a clown. The design was everything it needed to be: fun, colorful and loud. The subject of the profile said after publication, “P.T. Barnum, the master of promotion, would have been proud of you guys.” We created a header based off of this design for the front page.
Thanks! If you have any tips to pass on to us, I would love to hear your thoughts.
FROM ED: There are some interesting design approaches at work here and—for the most part— these are well designed pages.
But my concern on some of these pages is that we’re over-designing. On some pages, there are too many design elements. On others, the elements are distracting. On still others, they seem to collide with each other.
1. The teaser, the lead photo and the Vietnam memorial photo on the first page. The teaser is excellent, the memorial photo also is very good. But banging these into the middle package hurts. And the pink tint box is pretty bad.
2. Second page just seems to be a hodgepodge of elements. Without some negative space separating these, it’s difficult to tell which goes with which.
3. Green—light and dark—tint boxes on third page.
4. Green reverses on the fourth page.
5. Map page is very well done—because it’s been kept clean and simple.
6. Clown package is excellent.
In general, Dave, I think your designers are trying to bring a sense of impact and excitement to your fronts. But they may be trying just a bit too hard. Tone it down a bit by using a bit more text here and there…and place more negative space between packages.
So…those are my thoughts. How about the rest of you? What do you think of these pages? Am I being unfair? Let’s hear from you!