GENNY’S BACK FOR MORE PUNISHMENT. Well, maybe not “punishment”—and Genny seems to think that having her pages evaluated here is doing some good. So…maybe “encouragement.” This week, seven pages from her papers (the remainder next week). Genny’s note follows, with pages below. And then Ed’s…uh…encouragement.
We are learning so much from your comments and really enjoy your blog. Here are some more submissions from my other newspapers the Weed Press (yes, there really is a town called Weed, CA) and the Dunsmuir News. I have also sent in the front of our Area News section, our Entertainment section “The Spotlight” and our Sports page. I’d like to send in a sample redesigned front page based on your comments later on. Thanks for a great service.
1. This page suffers from the placement of three display photos…two of them the same size. The reader is sent conflicting signals on where to go on the page.
2. The nameplate is OK, but the art here needs improvement. Cutting it off to fit between the words gives it a crude feel. I’d like to see the art used as a background. Have you considered running it at about 30% to 50% gray?
3. I don’t get the vertical spacing on the “Planning commission” story. And…the head is deeper than the story. Was this a last-moment filler?
4. Why is the Finance director foto wider than the leg of type it sits above?
5. I would try to do something (anything?) diffrerent with the Weed Weather package. Can it just go inside?
1. Again, cramming too many pix on the page allows not of them to dominate…and it’s too bad because the top foto is visually compelling. Let’s limit ourselves to only two display fotos on the front. Make the lead one l-a-r-g-e and the second no larger than the “Close-up” foto here.
2. Drop tint blocks (especially pink!) behind fotos. They bleed the foto of impact.
3. OK…just how many caption styles do you allow? I see three here.
1. Now, this is more like it: lead foto has good content and gets god play, secondary foto (Shastina snow) is good size and draws me to the bottom of the page.
2. What’s with the v-e-r-y narrow column in the third leg of the “Casino night”story? That’s just bizarre.
3. When do you/don’t you use vertical rules to separate packages? Seems we could have used a rule between the “Citizens rally” package and the stories to its right.
4. On all three of these pages, there’s no standout larger/bolder headline to signal to the reader that it’s the most important package on the page. That leaves it up to readers to have to try to figure it out for themselves.
1. I really like the candidate fotos! Good that you ran them next to each other.
2. Why is the River Festival caption place in the foto? Could it have been placed below, with the top of the foto cropped? Answer: Yes.
3. Nameplate is good, but I’d tighten a bit between words and get a bit more negative space to the outside edges.
4. No teasers?
5. What’s the thinking behind runninh the captions flush right in the “Two on ballot story? Is that a style?
6. Column width is all over the ballpark, destroying the structure of the page. My rule: Stick to the normal column width with the exception of one (only one!) story.
7. Please do s-o-m-e-t-h-i-n-g else with the weather!
1. Ouch! Again, too many display fotos on the page.
2. Nice work on the top teaser. Good fotos…good typography.
3. Headline hierarchy doesn’t help me identify what you think is the lead story. Have you considered a strong sans serif for the lead?
4. Memorial Day Events header is over-designed.
5. Caption on bottom foto is waaaaaaay tooooooo many lines for flush right. When running flush right, type should be no more than 6-8 lines.
1. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a header as over-designed as this one. I suggest you go back to “Go” and try again. This header draws too much attention to itself.
2. Let’s try to feature one of these stories and play down the others. Certainly, one of these is going to be more appealing to readers than the others. It’s a choice readers expect us to make.
3. Can I get some negative space?
1. The “Visionary artist” head is a compressed sans serif. Why? Is there a style for this? Do you have a design style guide? Without one, how can your designers know they’re doing the right thing?
2. Why is the caption over the foto on the “Looking up” package?
3. Lotsa gray in the “Looking up” story. A pullout or two would have helped.
4. Again, there’s no hierarchy here. Readers have to guess where to do.
So…that’s it from Ed. A lot of points here but Ed is betting you have some ideas of your own to offer. Send ’em in…we need your comments, too!