Daily Archives: 10/03/2010
LAURI SENDS GOOD NEWS along with this page. Her note follows, then her submission and comments from Ed.
Just wanted to share our new front page as of 10/1/10. I’ve posted a progression of our front page with you in the past and wanted to share how things look today. With the combined efforts of our new editor, new sales director and myself we’ve convinced our publisher to do away with the rail of ads on 1A. Those advertisers wishing to continue with a premium placement will now move to a banner at the base of 2A, freeing up the editorial space on the front.
I can’t tell you how happy this makes the staff…we’ve all rejoiced at this move. Most of the advertisers were ready for a fresh change as well since the front page ad package had been running for over 2 years.
Design Department Supervisor
Deee-lightful! There’s nothing more ugly than a rail of ads on page 1. Well, OK, maybe a banana slug is more ugly. Either way, it’s good to not see the rail anymore.
Some thoughts on your cleaner, new-and-improved page 1:
1. The huge page numbers in the teasers are just too big. Would rather see you give greater size to the type…which would be difficult to read standing just three or four feet from a coin box.
2. The triangle teaser in the top right corner has a ribbon…with a gradient screen…a-n-d a burst. Geez…is there anything else we can put there to make it even m-o-r-e busy?
3. Leave a couple of picas from the blue rule below the nameplate to the top of the lead headline. This is too crammed.
4. Nice work on the graphic in the lead.
5. Why the all-caps head in the centerpiece? Is that style? Why?
6. The cutout art helps the centerpiece.
7. Three people in that teeny tiny Scime photo. Nope. Too small. Needs to be at least two columns to work.
8. Sooooo, is your headline style centered? Flush? Can’t tell. Only the Scime head leaves some space while others are sized to fit. If style is for centered heads, leave them a bit short, please.
Overall, my impression is that this is a front page that’s only about 20 years behind the times. Nothing much wrong here, but no “wow” factor and it’s just kinda…flat. An editor I worked with years ago would have said it best: “There’s no ‘there’ there.”
Is Ed putting too much “there” in his comments? Too tough? Too critical? OK, then…let’s hear what you have to say!
JOSH IS AN OCCASIONAL contributor to Ed Henninger’s Blog and offers this different approach for a Football Preview front to the recent mix.
It’s been very busy in south Alabama as of late and football season is half over, so if you can’t use this page for the blog, I understand. But here it is for your comment if you’d like.
I was asked to come up with something for the front, and with five schools spread across the county (four public and one private), it’s tough to get them all together for a single shot or to schedule individual shoots with each school. I went to the largest school and the coach let me have one guy for the pic, and I didn’t like the raw image much so I played with the filters in Photoshop until I got a stylized image I liked. Football field backgrounds were too busy for my tastes, so I picked a color and worked with gradients and shadows and outer glows until I came up with this. Let me know what you think.
1. For starters, it’s very “artsy.” It’s a very different look and certainly all the Photoshopping helped. I like what you did with the photo.
2. But…I don’t like the photo. I had trouble putting my finger on it, but now I know my problem with the pic: It’s a practice photo, with pads on and jersey off. For some reason, that makes it feel wrong.
3. I’d have left the top of the photo alone, putting the “2010 All-County Football Preview” at the bottom, where you have the index. The index could go inside on P2 or P3.
4. Reverse bars top and bottom are just a bit too heavy for me.
Even with all of that, I think it’s a good cover. Good, not great. Next time, tell your photographer he has to do a lot better than this! OK…just jokin.’
What about the rest of you? Your criticisms and witticisms welcome.
A FEW WEEKS AGO, we received a few pages from a preps football preview prepared by editors and designers at The Greer Citizen. The pages caused quite a stir because of the innovative and stylish approach to the section. In short, comments from blog readers ranged from “ooooohhhh” to “aaaaahhhh” and some of you mentioned that you’d like to see more.
I contacted Jennifer and asked her to send a few pages so…here’s more. We’ll follow up over the coming weeks with additional pages from Greer.
We decided to take you at your word and send you some pages from The Greer Citizen. We chose a few samples of each section so you can get an idea of what we’ve been doing recently. We would really appreciate any suggestions you have to improve.
For A18.104.22.168, we did not have any centerpiece art. Our main story was about a council meeting that has caused a small controversy in the area, so we created a CP out of mugs and text. We’d love to know how you would have done it.
The Greer Citizen
Here’s the page Jennifer mentions in her note, with comments from Ed. Then another page and comments.
1. Not sure the headline needs a comma after “To sell.”
2. I like the package, though I’m not turned on by the idea of just plain mug shots. Perhaps they could have been cut out in Photoshop?
3. It’s difficult to do something that looks balanced when you’re faced with five vs. two units. I think I would have placed the five mugs all across under the headline, with the story below those five mugs and then the two mugs with the quote and the “question that will appear…” at the bottom of the package. I think what bothers me most is that there are four-and-one mugs at the top instead of five.
4. I’d have cropped the mugs more tightly top and bottom. Some wasted space on most of them.
OK…with all of that said, I still think it was the right thing to do. Especially because you didn’t have any centerpiece art. A lesson learned: Always have one or two timeless centerpieces “in the can,” so you can pull one out and place it on the page when you don’t get art you were expecting. Nothing wrong with a feature for a centerpiece.
1. I really like the centerpiece here, giving good photos a good ride. The numbers make the package more interesting.
2. But…NEVER EVER EVER put a pun quotes. It’s an insult to your readers. Those readers who get it will like the pun even more—and those who don’t get it won’t get it with or without the quotes. Again…NEVER EVER EVER put a pun quotes.
3. It looked too tight but I couldn’t be sure without testing…so I tested: The centerpiece headline is scaled to 70 percent. Style for The Greer Citizen is 85% scale—taking it to 70% overdoes it. Points off for that.
4. Bad widow at the top of the second leg in the motorcycle story.
That’s it from Ed. How about the rest of you? Share your thoughts and your suggestions with Jennifer.