A NEWCOMER, MICHAEL HOWIE of Oakville Today, offers us two recent front pages. (FYI, a check of Google maps shows North Oakville on the western shore of Lake Ontario, between Toronto and Hamilton, Canada.) Michael’s comments follow, with some notes from yrs. truly.
FROM MICHAEL: Love the blog – my GM introduced me and we both check it and your website regularly. Thought I’d submit two of our front pages. We’re in a unique situation as we have a short tabloid front with a bunch of ads on the front – five lugs along the left side and a banner on the bottom. We recently changed our header to a 10 (full width) x 20ish ag. Previously we had four lugs down the left, a double lug on the top right and a short banner above the top of the page. Our banner was getting lost. The change has helped, but I’m still curious to hear from you and your readers for comments and ideas, keeping in mind that it is well outside my ability to change the lugs on the left of the page.
FROM ED: Thanks for submitting the pages, Michael. Here’s hoping you’ll continue to do so regularly. I’ll focus my comments on the ads and nameplate. I appreciate that there’s not much you can do about the ads. They’re a fact of life. I would tell your GM, though, that the ads as designed are a hodge podge and that tends to cheapen the product (Oakville Today itself) in which you are selling them. Advertisers probably don’t see that, though. I also trust that your GM is getting a hefty percentage bounce for the page 1 ads. One suggestion: Separate the ads from the news area of the page a bit buy creating a buffer with more space. Perhaps a 4-6 point gray rule. The nameplate really needs work: The green and yellow are garish and the type isn’t consistent (compare the cap “A” in “Oakville” with the cap “A” in “Today”). According to the internet (www.insidehalton.com/aboutus): “North Oakville is one of the wealthiest areas in Canada and the residents have enjoyed Oakville Today since 1984.” If so, the nameplate needs some upscaling so your paper will appeal to a more affluent readership.
Thanks again for your submission. Now, let’s see what others have to say!