4 responses to “Pages from: Shannon Leete | Mt. Pleasant News

  1. Hello Shannon and Ed,

    I like the Winter Sports tab cover best, but I think it could have been refined by using only 2 colors and refining the font choices a bit. It is a really neat idea – typographic layering – but the circus font (in “Winter”) and the outlined fonts are busy together. I think solids would have achieved the effect you were going for in a more refined way. Additionally, I would have used some mixed-case lettering to break up all the capitals – mixed-case is easier to read and would have added some visual variety. You can also get more mileage out of 1 or 2 fonts if you vary mixed, upper, lowercases and small caps.

    I would also be careful that the design doesn’t get in the way of legibility and clarity. The figure in the school front almost looks like it is about to be run over by the bus. Since you’re talking about the local school system, your readers would probably enjoy seeing familiar faces in students, teachers, school employees and administrators on the cover. A dominant image with some small teaser images might help draw people into your publication.

    Good luck – I certainly know how hard it is when you have no feedback. Designing in a vacuum is difficult! When I’m stymied, I browse design sites like:
    http://www.newsdesigner.com
    http://www.visualeditors.com
    http://www.informationisbeautiful.net
    http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages
    http://www.adsoftheworld.com

    Thank you Ed for offering critiques – I saw your blog link on the Georgia Press website. I’m in the middle of a newspaper redesign and would love to submit something when I hammer out a design draft.

    Katie Davis

  2. David Merrill

    I agree with Ed on all counts: the effort is excellent, but the result is a bit stressful for the reader.

    The art style on the winter sports cover is distinctive, but its busy-ness lacks the visual hierarchy that readers need in order to navigate. “Winter Sports, December 2008” needs to dominate somehow, or the page just becomes a wall of letters.

    On the Progress cover, do the photos that form the words actually express the topic, or are they just taken at random from within the section? Readers will do the work of looking at them, visually separating them and trying to make sense of them, and I found that experience frustrating. People in a meeting, stacked pallets of something, a couple of houses: what does it all MEAN? It’s clear the digits “2008” don’t relate graphically to the photos, so readers will try to find another meaning in the photos themselves. I didn’t find any, but it’s possible that’s just because I don’t live in the area: it’s YOUR readers you need to please.

    The word “In”, on the other hand, DOES relate graphically to its background photo: the vertical elements of the artwork complement the vertical lines in the type. That word stands out for me because I don’t have to psych out the content of the underlying photo: it just “works”.

    I hope this is helpful. Keep up the good work!

  3. Matt Saxon

    Remember, just because you have a whole page to work with, it dosen’t mean you have to fill it. Leave some space for the eye to rest.

  4. Dianne Walker

    I found it too busy, all of it, but I wonder if my teenage grandson would. Some day, hopefully, he will subscribe to a newspaper (probably online!) and he might like the busyness. Today’s young people are used to video games that are fast paced, crowded, etc.

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