KELLI WRITES THAT HER JOB “…is in jeopardy” but I suspect she meant “…isn’t in jeopardy.” Perhaps she can send a quick note to let us know for sure either way.
FROM KELLI: “I am thrilled to have discovered your blog. We got your name through the Minnesota Newspaper Association’s weekly newsletter. I am taking a risk with sending these because my boss does not know I am sending this. Don’t worry, my job is in jeopardy. I try to think of new and innovative ways to upgrade (update) the computer, but our editor is very old school. Some feedback would be greatly appreciated.”
Kelli’s pages follow, along with some notes from Ed.
FROM ED: Ouch! There’s a lot to talk about here. And, while I believe in being kind, I also believe in being honest when I’m evaluating a design. Here are items that trouble me:
1. The teasers are too small and they don’t tell me enough to interest me in going to the inside.
2. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a nameplate so overdesigned. It needs to be discarded and replaced with something much, much simpler.
3. Headline font is Palatino and it just doesn’t work well for a newspaper.
4. The entire page needs to be redesigned using principles of modular design.
5. It’s difficult to follow the text of the walleyes story from the first leg (adjacent to the photo) to the second leg (below the photo).
6. Placement of the rain photo below the story is unusual.
Overall, the page is difficult to follow and the flag is just way too much.
1. The page label is overdesigned. I’d start by getting rid of the boxes and the screen.
2. The page number could be smaller…and it needs to be in the left (outside) corner of the page.
3. Type in text wraps is poorly word-spaced.
4. The graphics in the science fair and drumming briefs are gratuitous—they add no information.
5. I can’t make much sense of the Easter Egg Hunt (sorry, I am not going with the politically-correct “May Day Hunt”—who hunts for May Day?) graphic in the top right corner. Too many type faces in too many sizes make this difficult to read.
1. I don’t get the rationale behind placing the photo credits in the photos. No reason to that I can see.
2. Stories are long.
3. No dominant photo. The page has no focus.
4. Why was the photo at bottom left notched into the second leg of type?
5. Indents on photo captions are unnecessary.
6. No headline hierarchy.
In all, these pages reveal that there’s little design—and perhaps even less design training—at the Record-Review. The design is trapped somewhere back in the 1960s…and that’s been, oh, about 50 years ago. This is a paper that needs a total redesign—and the training to accompany it.
How about the rest of you? What are your thoughts? What have I not mentioned? Am I being too harsh? Please jump in here and give Kelli your thoughts.