Daily Archives: 09/06/2009

August winners!

THANKS TO YOU, this blog is gaining momentum. Many of you have submitted pages—and comments—during the past weeks and those are the meat and potatoes of this site.

We had quite a few submissions in August…and comments on those pages. I’ve promised to award the best page and the best comment a free pdf copy of my latest book, 101 Henninger Helpful Hints.

FBTABcoverAUGUST BEST PAGE: Will Franklin’s football tab cover. Excellent idea, nicely executed. As a winner for best comment last month, Will already has a copy of 101 Henninger Helpful Hints. So I’m sending him a pdf of my first book, Henninger on Design.

AUGUST BEST COMMENT: Darah Patterson at The Greer Ctizen had this comment on pages submitted from the Biog Rapids Pioneer: “I think the map page is very well done. I can also appreciate the header with ‘The Land Before Time’ theme. I think the Lifestyles package with the clown is excellent and invokes feelings of fun and happiness. As a paper we are cautious of using too many colors, especially dark ones which involve reverse type. Mainly, because printing can become an issue, and secondly stories and elements start to compete with each other. The city lands jobs layout just uses too many elements. It might be more enjoyable to use a sparing amount of extra elements and focus more on the stories. Overall, I think the packages that spotlight one story are the strongest.”

Congratulations to Will (the first two-time winner!) and Darah!


Filed under Other

Still need your help!

DESIGN 2010I’M BEGINNING to put together my next column for Publishers’ Auxiliary. The topic is “Design 2010.” I’d like to share your thoughts on where you think design—especially for community newspapers—will go during the next year.

This is your opportunity to let it all out, to tell others what you see for the future of design. Will papers continue to shrink? Will more community newspapers go to tabloid format? Is there hope for larger packages—even in smaller papers? Will design help to save papers…or will publishers just not really care about design?

Let me know…soon. It’s OK if you send me some comments—or a rant—and you don’t want your name published.

Get on your soapbox and let’s year what you have to say!

Leave a comment

Filed under Other

Well advice on writing good

WHILE VISITING with a client last week, I noticed the following posted on the editor’s bulletin board. She was happy to share it with me…and I’m happy to share it with you.

I don’t know the source of this one. If you do, please let me know.

Good food for thought here—and it’ll give you a chuckle.


1. Avoid alliteration. Always.

2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

3. Avoid clichés like the plague. (They’re old hat.)

4. Employ the vernacular.

5. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.

6. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.

7. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.

8. Contractions aren’t necessary.

9. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.

10. One should never generalize.

z Ralph_Waldo_Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson

11. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”

12. Comparisons are as bad as clichés.

13. Don’t be redundant; don’t use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.

14. Be more or less specific.

15. Understatement is always best.

16. One-word sentences? Eliminate.

17. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.

18. The passive voice is to be avoided.

19. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.

20. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.

21. Who needs rhetorical questions?

22. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

Here’s a writing rule from Winston Churchill that I’ve always liked: “Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.”

How about you? Any favorite writing/grammar rules to share?


Filed under Other

Poll: All-caps headlines—Good or bad?

PREVIOUS POSTS have mentioned concern about all-caps headlines. That is: most of you don’t seem to like them. For my part, I’ve never really understood why designers use them, except for use on a special features package.

The one advantage to all-caps heads is that they have no descenders—and that can occasionally make a difference in a design. Other than that, all-caps heads seem to add undue emphasis to a package.

Here’s the poll. Cast your vote.

Leave a comment

Filed under Poll | survey