HERE ARE THREE PAGES submitted for your comment. Stephen’s note follows, then Ed has some comments below each page.
I contacted you probably four years ago for one of your free consults. It was a real “come to Jesus” moment for me and my designer.
Since then I’ve hired and lost a production manager who took it upon himself to spruce up what we had even more.
We continue to use the style and rules that he created, but without his constant watch/supervision I thought I might send some pages your way to get some outside/fresh perspective.
We’re a weekly paper and we are committed to three sections each week — Front page news, sports and roundup (small town weeklies can get by with somewhat hokey section titles). Attached are the three section fronts from our June 3 edition.
Our designs are nothing breathtaking. We aim for easy to read/follow layout that are attractive enough to engage a reader. We occasional blow the grid apart on sports or roundup when we do a feature, but these pages are good representation of what we do week after week. Our sections are not templated, but we do adhere strictly to the grid. Hopefully that is reflected in what you see here.
Thanks for taking the time. Hope we make the blog so others might have a chance to comment.
1. Teaser package is very busy,with outlined type, colored type, the reverse, the G and T combined into the one character in the nameplate, the sketch of the mountains, the reverse bar below the package…it’s all just too much.
2. All Franklin Gothic heads are the same font, leaving only the size to establish hierarchy. I’d look for ways to use more fonts in that family.
3. The lower photo is actually larger than the one at top. Head on the Raged package is the largest headline on the page. So…which is the more important package?
4. Red triangles in front of the jumplines seem gratuitous.
5. I’m not thrilled by your use of the Benguiat typeface in your nameplate and section flags. Benguiat is overstyled and just a bit too cute to be credible.
6. Why is the nameline on the mug shot flush right?
1. Again, teasers are too busy. I certainly agree that teasers should draw attention but these are overdone.
2. Would much rather see a circular hole around the circular logo in the Growler piece. Here, you’re putting a round peg in a square hole.
3. Would like to see more space, rules between packages.
1. As a rule, I don’t like tint blocks over packages. The light screen on the sports package is acceptable, but the two tints on the lead here—and the orange rule on the sidebar—are too much.
2. Did you consider another approach on the lead head? All caps? Small caps?
Most of these items are fixable—and without too much effort. I suggest you start by working on the teasers.
Stephen asked for your comments. So…get to it!