DENNIS IS NEW TO HIS POST as managing editor…and new to the blog. He offers two pages from each paper for us to consider.
I’m Dennis Phillips, the recently appointed managing editor of the Clifton Record and Meridian Tribune. I got your blog site from a friend, thought it would be great to hear some constructive words. Thanks for taking the time to do this, it is nice to hear an outside opinion. I’m sending two emails, this one has two fronts of Meridian, the next will have two fronts of Clifton. Looking forward to reading the reviews and comments.”
Dennis’ pages follow, each with comments from Ed.
1. I’d prefer to see a photo of a Clifton landmark rather than the cartoony-clip-arty image you use between the teasers.
2. The brief headlines placed into the teasers doesn’t really tell me enough to make me want to go inside. I suggest you try another approach. These look like they’re done at the last minute.
3. Can we move some of the ancillary items away from below the nameplate? Looks like a lot of stuff that’s not necessary here.
4. Good train wreck photo.
5. Type face in the murder subhead seems out of place.
6. Other headline faces (Times and Helvetica?) are outdated. Let’s look for something more contemporary.
1. Do you have to place that TPA logo and the UPC code in the bottom right corner? How about putting some of that ancillary nameplate type down there and creating a horizontal package across the bottom? It would keep you from having to design around that element in every issue.
2. Placement of the tires photo gets in the way of readers being able to follow the copy easily.
3. Bad widow at the top of the first leg below the tires photo.
4. I suggest you set up a style sheet that aligns copy to the baseline grid.
5. Nice lead photo package.
1. I like what you did with the butterfly pix. Maybe a b-i-t overdone, but a good idea. Once in a while, a bit of overdoing doesn’t hurt.
2. Wow…the nameplate is…well…ouch! Outlined, shadowed and scaled, the type itself looks a bit tortured. Then…it bangs into the building on the right. And…it carries the red “sausage” below it. And…it’s burdened (like Clifton) with much too much ancillary type. This really needs to be simplified!
3. Allow a couple of picas between the nameplate and the news area, please. This is just too tight.
4. Are you running some headlines in gray? Why would you do that?
5. Tough to tell what the lead story is here.
1. Space between packages is too tight. Even with the rules, elements seem to run into each other. I suggest 2-3 picas of negative space (with the rules dissecting that space).
2. The dotted rule is a dated approach. I think we dropped dotted rules about ten years ago.
3. The curfew story is just too short before it jumps. It’s difficult to get readers to want to follow the story without giving them at least three or four inches of copy.
4. Do you always run a short piece-with-tint-block in the top right corner of the news area? If so, what’s the purpose?
Overall, it seems to me both the Clifton and Meridian papers would benefit from a simpler approach to their design. Perhaps you’re just trying too hard.
I’ll be interested in seeing what others have to say.