FOLLOWING UP ON A RECENT COLUMN of mine in Publishers’ Auxiliary, Kasia sent a note about photo pages, especially on pages with ads. I wrote back, asking her to send along some examples. Kasia’s note follows, then her pages…and some thoughts from yours truly
Ed – I enjoyed your article in the PubAux about creating good photo pages. We are a small tabloid paper and I find it a challenge to do a good photo layout on one or two pages, especially when there also are some ads on the pages. I like to run one photo large as a focal point, and I do try to vary the size of the other photos, but I still feel like my pages could stand some improvement. Do you have any suggestions?
1. Most everyone who reads this blog knows I don’t like funky fonts. Find ways to make pages like these work using your standard headline typefaces.
2. Cluster the photos, pushing the caption/copy block to the right edge of the page.
3. Avoid grouped captions. These make the reader go from caption to photo to caption to another photo to caption to another photo…its confusing and time consuming. Do a separate caption on each photo and use the copy block to offer a more general description of the event.
4. Work to give the reader a bit of negative space around the edge of the page. There’s no law that says you have to fill every square centimeter of space. The space at the top right helps here.
1. Perhaps the most visually interesting photo on these facing pages is the shot of the small boat running through the waves. Too bad it got such small play. I’d have put it at the bottom of the left page, running it full across and trimming the story as necessary.
2. There’s just too much type in the jump. Without a pullout or some other element to break it up, it appears daunting.
3. The photo at the top right of the second page is lost above the ad. I’d have placed an unrelated story here then made the best use of the module at the top left of the page.
4. Again, the grouped caption is difficult for readers to follow.
5. The best photo on the right page, I think, is at the bottom right. I like the way you framed the ferry between the backs of the people on shore.
6. Needs some negative space.
1. The best photo here is at the bottom. I’d have shifted it to the top. I like the photo a lot.
2. Please get past the practice of running grouped captions. Make it easier for your readers to navigate your photo pages.
3. Move the caption to the right edge of the page so it doesn’t separate the photos.
4. Without any negative space around the outside edges of the page, the entire package appears crammed. Open up!
I hope this helps you, Kazia. Let’s see what others have to say!