8 responses to “Pages from: Derek Schaper | Valdosta Scene

  1. I agree with Ed on all of his points. I really like the layout on the interior pages, but the cover needs some snap. Not sure what to recommend, but I like the cover picture. Maybe enlarging the image so the little child’s face really fills up the area on the left (’cause those swim goggles are AWESOME and a real attention getter!)

    • Thanks Lauri, I think you are very right about increasing the image size on the cover. Rarely do I get as good a cover shot as this one so I should’ve taken full advantage of it.

  2. Thanks Ed. I totally agree about UPC jumping out – has bothered me on almost every cover from day 1. I’ll try the teaser box idea.

    All your other points well taken also (the two different greens bother me now though it was done on purpose at the time… dang).

  3. David Merrill

    Nice use of space in all these layouts: you’ve achieved a pleasing and elegant effect overall.

    I agree about enlarging the cover photo. It’s a great visual, and it doesn’t need to have that much pool to be clearly a pool scene. And even with the barcode box there, if her hand went behind it, it wouldn’t have been bad: it’s the face (and those great glasses) that make it.

    I like the simplicity of the cover, and I’m not sure it would be great to add another set of teasers as a means of enclosing the barcode box: I fear it would add clutter. I think readers’ eyes tend to ignore a barcode in the same way they ignore ads.

    I also question the color choice on “Azalea Festival”. It seems weak compared to the contrast of the other type on the page. I’d have picked up something a little redder and darker from the glasses.

    I like the contents page, but I disagreed with a few little things about the photos. (1) For my eye, the numbers needed to have higher contrast; I didn’t notice them at first glance. I’m not sure about putting them at different positions in the photos, either, but that’s just my personal taste. (2) The second photo is redundant and a bit of a bringdown from the cover photo. I’d have emphasized the cover story item typographically in the contents list (or maybe just put it first) because it’ll probably be top-of-mind for the reader, but then I’d have picked a different article to illustrate with that second photo. (3) The last photo purports to illustrate something on page 42, which is not in the contents list, so it’s an interesting photo that has no context.

    I’d go a step further on the differences between the contents and the contributor pages. In addition to using the same green, I’d probably have used the smaller italic for the “contents” headline and added the drop shadow on the contributors’ page, to connect the two pages.

    But these are all nitpicking. Nice feel, and a great job overall!

    • Thanks for the comments. I’m definitely gonna work on the contents page a little and try to better tie it together with the contributors page.

      I really hate my choice of greens after reading everyone’s comments. I always try to go with colors that match the month/season, hence green for March… I am also very colorblind so my color choices are not always spot-on.

      And some of the color choices (the “Azalea Festival” on the cover, for example) are made by my editor—looking over my shoulder. She always wants to throw some pink in there.

  4. Matt Saxon

    This looks pretty good to me. The green does tend to remind me of my grandmothers bathroom, and I would enlarge and raise up that cover pic. You might have to clone in a little of the side of the pool at the bottom but so what?

  5. Bob

    I agree with most of the points so far. Overall, I think it is good newspaper layout in magazine format. Whether that is a criticism is up to you.

    The pink on the cover definitely has to go and the cover photo needs more drama, which can be achieved, as suggested, by a tighter crop. I would also suggest that on the TOC you indent the explanation line for clearer type hierarchy. Also, lose the leader dots between story title and page numbers. You have many other choices that are more visually interesting.

    As for color, although the green is harmonious with the top and bottom photos on the TOC, I think better color choices could be made. Given your color blindness, I would suggest http://colorblender.com as a way to get good color combinations.

    Keep up the good work. Asking for public critique is a brave (and wise) thing to do!

    • Thanks for taking a look Bob.

      I’m aware that my layouts tend to look newspapery, and that’s really what I’d like to get away from…hopefully with the help of everyone’s input and ideas to improve the look of these pages.

      Will definitely take your suggestions into consideration and take a look at colorblender.com.

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