SCOTT OFFERS THESE PAGES as his first submission to Ed Henninger’s Blog. He asks Ed not to hold back. Now…when have you ever known Ed to hold back?
Hello Ed, I received notice about your blog from a fellow designer at the SND News Designer website. Your blog is awesome!! LOVE IT!! I am a reporter/photographer who’s been thrust into the world of designing in the past two years. I must say that I really, really enjoy design…probably just about as much as writing and shooting. Now, I just have to get good at it LOL.
I’ve attached several pages for you to comment on if you will. I value your opinion and trust that you’ll be honest with me so don’t hold back :)
Thanks again for your time.
FROM ED: Ouch! There’s a lot to fix here.
1. The nameplate takes up too much space and really needs to be redesigned. Too busy and too big, and all that ancillary type below it needs fixing.
2. There are some Bodoni display faces that work well, but the ones you have here aren’t among them. The Verdana also needs rethinking. It was designed for the web and I’m not sure it works as a print display face.
3. I don’t get the rationale for the color blocks behind the teasers. They’re too heavy and ten to draw too much attention to themselves. These may just be the most dominant elements on the page.
4. The top right teaser is way overwritten. Teasers need to be short, with catchy writing. This is long and dull.
5. Why place the parade headline in the photo? ‘Cause you can?
6. I like the apple art with the shadow.
1. Great lead photo…and you used it very well.
2. I don’t get the reason for using the “V” drop initial when it’s really just the first letter of the dateline.
3. Bad widow at the top of the 3d leg of the story.
Even with those criticisms, I like the general approach of the page.
1. The Bodoni and Verdana really have to go. Have you checked out your fonts files to see what you have available that ma work better?
2. Did you consider placing the apples in front of the headline instead of behind it? I’d have tried that. Maybe one in front and the other behind. I like to work on those and see what they do. Notice, I said “work on those”…not “play with them.”
3. Glad to see you’re learning that negative space can be a good thing.
4. Strength of the shadows behind the art differs. The shadow on the top left apple is much lighter. I know: it’s a detail…but I believe that getting the details right is the hallmark of a professional.
1. I like the photo, but not the placement of the credit. What’s the reason for putting it there? Couldn’t you have placed it below the bottom right corner of the photo?
2. Good headline! It’s OK —even preferable—to take some chances in the headline writing on features pages.
3. You could have run the text a bit higher and a bit shorter and had it fall against the blue sky, instead of having to place it in that white box.
But, again…it’s a good effort. I think you have promise as a designer.
So…did Ed hold back? What would you tell Scott?