8 responses to “Pages from: Kelli Froslie | Barnesville Record-Review

  1. Kristin Coker

    Kelli, I don’t want to be harsh when I say this, but, your paper really needs a redesign and stylebook. Your styles are all over the place and there is no unity.

    Dog-legged stories should never be used in a paper. They make it harder for the reader to actually read the story. I’m jumping all over the place and you don’t want that for your readers.

    Also, this may not be your problem, but your ads on your second page probaly should have a staircase effect. Your largest ad is to the left of two smaller ads. If you had reversed your bottom two ads it would have looked cleaner.

    I hope this criticism helps, I hope I wasn’t too harsh.

  2. Matt Saxon

    Ed, Kristin,
    I agree…and remember: Friends don’t let friends bump headlines.

  3. Kelli..I had the opportunity at an API conference in D.C. about five years ago to have our paper (and several others) critiqued by Ed. Believe me he is right on in his assessment. It’s tough love…but sometimes we editors (and more often our superiors) need a good slap upside the head. I’ve redone our paper twice since then always trying to keep Ed’s words in my head. Modular is the way to go.
    What troubles me about your pages is there is no focus..no single knockout photo or head or story…and there are little irksome things like bylines flush right, the ad stack on page 2 is all wrong and that front page banner….yuck! Just because the paper is 109 years old doesn’t mean it has to look it….Follow Ed’s advice, don’t fear redesign, your readers’ won’t revolt.

  4. Kelli

    OUCH!! I know that the truth hurts but I didn’t think we were THAT bad. I have to say however that I do appreciate the feedback and suggestions.
    Ed was correct when he corrected my mistake. My job is not in jeopardy. But I am honestly not sure if I should show this to my editor. Like I said prior, he is very old-school. He has worked here since he was in high school and I can’t honestly say if he has had any “formal” design training. When he started here, it was on Linotype.
    Not that our paper doesn’t need a uplift, but change does not come easy around here.
    I am intrigued by the advice and will find a softer way of suggesting change to him.
    Thanks a bunch!

    • Kelli:
      Thanks for taking the criticism in the spirit in which it was intended. How can I help you?

    • A suggestion, Kelli:

      If you think your editor is too old school to consider a redesign, and if “change does not come easy,” try to do it in stages. First, check out some other papers and learn about things like modular design. Do your homework. Then just slowly work in different elements…start with the modular design, which is the easiest. Then develop headline hierarchy. Etc.

      Good design is good for a reason–it works. I think when the paper starts to improve, your editor might suddenly find an interest in continuing down that path.

      Good luck!

  5. Kristin Coker

    Kelli, Joe Shaw has a great idea. A good place to look is at NewsPageDesigner at SND.org or
    here’s a link
    http://npd.snd.org/

  6. jessica

    Kelli –

    You might find it’s easier than you think.

    If you’re in charge of the front page, then give the modular design a try. It takes a little planning, but once you’re in the habit, you’ll find that fitting the pieces together is a snap. You’ll probably discover yourself, in time, working in a formula.

    Think of modular design this way … each piece is a package – story, headline, photo, captions. Maybe that can help you think differently about how your pieces fit together.

    Good suggestion to start small. It will give you time to adjust and perfect a new skill and new way of thinking about design. Also will give readers time to adjust, too.

    Good luck!

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