4 responses to “Page from: Larry See | The Mead County Messenger

  1. Amy

    Looking at the first layout (not the second redesign), it strikes me that it needs some attention to photos. I tell my staff to stop running photos the same size. If you have one dominant image and then additional images, step them down and run all at different sizes. Nothing rankles me more than two or three photos all the same size.

  2. Larry See

    First, I thank the readers of this blog for their comments. It is one of my bookmarks and I always come here for new ideas and inspiration.

    I have suggested the possibility of having a critique session done on the newspaper, so that we can earn a statewide press award. The proposal is under consideration at this writing.

    We have weekly newspaper competing with us, which is good, as that means two newspapers breeds competition, but it also means they are chasing our tail because we come out Wednesday and they come out Friday.

    On to some individual comments:

    • Our designer likes oval photos. We used to have an operations system where the designer, a reporter and myself presented ideas in a give and take session. With the exception of me, the other two left the paper and the sessions ended.

    • Design of nameplate and ancillary information reflects the feeling of the community.

    • Times is the headline of choice for our designer, both for body copy and headlines.

    • I think our front pages resemble the old Marvel comics. We always use too much color—even in headlines. In my personal opinion, color tends to scare the reader. Why would you want to pick up something with a lot of color—other than the fact the color is trying to entice you to buy the paper? I also agree with the tint blocks—way overused. A designer from the Chicago Tribune tore our paper to shreds during a design session. The comments she made are under consideration at this writing.

    • Gutters are also our friend. If you think the gutters are bad on the front page, you should see some of the inside pages. Some inside design is warranted on a few of these pages, and I think it will occur soon.

    Again, I appreciate your comments. I already have the blog bookmarked and will use the ideas for future inspiration and “golly gee” thoughts. You are a beacon of hope to those of us out here in the wilderness.

    Larry See

    • Larry:

      Thanks for your comments. Some responses:

      • I think a critique session is vital. It doesn’t surprise me that someone tore the design apart. We here tend to be more gentle…but your design absolutely needs help. Check out the Freebie link on my web site. It can be the start of something important.

      • The fact that your designer “likes oval photos” tells me she doesn’t really know much about design. Sorry, but oval photos are for high school yearbooks.

      • I would like to see focus group or survey data that proves that the design of the nameplate “reflects the feeling of the community.” Otherwise, I’m skeptical.

      • If Times for headlines and body copy is the choice of your designer…well, again…that tells me she doesn’t really know much about design. Times for headlines is overused and outdated…and Times for body copy is much, much less readable than other available type faces. Your designer is making poor choices.

      • Color is fine—as long as it’s used properly and carefully. That’s not the case at the Messenger.

      “Beacon of hope,” eh? Thanks for that. Makes the effort worthwhile.

      Stay with us…continue to submit pages occasionally. We’ll give you what help we can over time.

      How about the rest of you? Comments on Larry’s note? Let’s give him some feedback!

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