5 responses to “Pages from: Genny Axtman | Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers

  1. Marc Stumbo

    1st page: Not a big fan of the flush right caption (I use them, just not that long – 26 lines is a bit much, especially that narrow). The flush left photo credit stuck in the little notch next to the ad looks like a rushed layout job.

    I would have tried putting the Applications story in the left column above the ad (a smaller head would make it fit), then worked the other two photo packages on the right – you may have been able to totally eliminate that flush right caption.

    The crevice rock pkg. looks jammed into the corner and it is not visually clear to me that the photo goes with the story below it. A slightly smaller McCloud photo may have given you enough room to get the headline and a couple of lines of copy under the crevice photo, and also would make the bone marrow registry photo be the dominant image on the page.

    I agree with Ed: If you don’t have a style sheet for small caps, don’t use them.

    2nd page: Lack of a vertical column rule is odd. The widow at the top of the 4th column of the lead package is bad typography, and the photo bumping into the 1st and 4th columns is not only distracting but makes the 4th column dogleg left AND for only a couple of lines.

    4 bank heads are my rule, and only single column.

    More space between ads and editorial content would be helpful.

    Taking the words “in Siskiyou” out of the main package head would have enabled you to make it bigger and dominant.

    3rd page: Do you have a style for bold, regular and italic headlines? Center, flush left?

    The caption over the photo is really distracting and wrecks the shot. Also, the “Regional Center” tease should be used to break up the grayness of the body copy and not placed on top of another graphical element.

    VP photo would have had more impact very tightly cropped and used as a notch shot in a single column.

    4th page: Website teaser should have been placed down the page – I see that it keeps the two top headlines from being tombstoned, but that’s not a good enough reason for it being there. I would have boxed the “Bears shine” package at right, set it in a single 2-col width and notched the 1 col photo. That would have made it visually clearer that the long jump photo went with the track story and would have separated it from the “1st in NSCIF” story below it.

    5th page: It’s busy, but it’s a sports page – I’m fine with that. I have no problem maneuvering around the page. I would like to see one package self-contained instead of all being jumps, however.

    6th page: I love the wrestling photo – I think it’s a great shot, it’s eye-catching (and funny) and WAY more appealing than the basketball photo. The basketball photo is b-o-r-i-n-g … there’s hardly anyone in the bleachers, it’s not in focus and the two elderly gentlemen in the background seem kind of out-of-place to me. NOT a lead photo.

  2. David Merrill

    I’ll second Ed’s comments (as usual), but I would emphasize one over the others: hierarchy.

    You appear to be trying for overall homogeneity on a page, as though it would be a disservice to the other articles if one dominates the visual space. Headline sizes vary only slightly, as do photo sizes in many cases. It makes the pages visually monotonous and forces the reader to decide where to start (in which case they may just move on).

    If you give extra space and effort to a story with a visually appealing photo, or one whose topic is likely to be of greater interest to the majority of your readers, you’re not slighting the other stories on the page. You’re drawing readers in so they’ll dwell on the page longer, which means they’re more likely to read those other stories as well. When readers stay longer, everybody wins (including your advertisers).

    You needn’t be the only person who decides which story should dominate a given page: that’s an editorial as well as a design function. If you were to start asking your colleagues “Which story should I feature on this page?”, they could be a tremendous help. You might find they have more opinions than you thought.

  3. I like the wrestling shot. I found it… amusing. Then, I have a sick sense of humour.

    The lack of vertical rules sent me through a loop. Which story goes with that photo?

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