A RECENT CONTRIBUTOR, Scott comes back to us with another submission for review and comment.
Here’s another page I just finished Ed…I know you hate the reversed type, but I wanted to try something a little different…hope it turned out well. Scott
FROM ED: The point is not whether Ed likes reversed type. The point is that reversed type—especially when it’s run as a full-length story like this—is v-e-r-y difficult to read.
From what I can tell here, you’ve taken your normal body font (Times?) and run it at its normal size (about 10 point). If you’re going to run text in reverse, go to a larger size and a sans serif font. These changes add to the readability of reversed text, especially of the type is run over a photo, where registration issues come into play.
I offer the page below—prepared as a mockup for a client—as an example. The text is set in 11 point Antenna Condensed Bold on 13.2 spacing. And I paid close attention to letter spacing and word spacing. Much easier to read—and to reproduce on the press.
So, it’s not about reversed type or not reversed type. It’s about how you reverse the type. But it’s also about why you reverse the type. What was your intention here? Greater visual impact? Well, ya got that…but at the expense of readability. So, while many of your readers would have wanted to read this page, the majority of them would have had trouble doing so. And, if you defeat the reader’s ease of reading—and they stop reading the page as a result—who have you helped? Frankly, on my page below, it doesn’t matter if readers don’t go the the end of the story—although I’ve made it considerably easier for them to do so. The story is just a feature about coffee. But your page is built around a story that will have life-changing impact or your readers. Making it difficult to read is a disservice to your readers—and to your community.
That’s why reversing type is about much more than whether Ed likes it or not.
IT’S BEEN A WHILE since we’ve seen a page from Marc, so we were glad to receive this recent submission. Marc’s note follows, with Ed’s comments below his page.
My centerfold from last week … last-minute, all submitted pictures and not of very good quality. Haven’t posted in a while so thought I’d send this along before Guido pays me a visit …
FROM ED: Overall, I like the approach, but I have a few points:
1. Whenever I do a spread, I’m sure to run a photo across the fold. This helps pull the two pages together.
2. Did you consider taking the screened box across the width of the entire design? I might have run it in seven legs, one for each item in the box. Having two or three legs shorter than the others would add to the feature look of the entire spread.
3. Putting the photo packages and the screened box in the corners of the design tends to draw the reader’s eye away from the story—and perhaps off the page.
4. I’d have avoided the grouped captions. Readers find it easier going if there’s a caption under each photo.
How about the rest of you? Is Ed being too nit-picky here? What are your thoughts?
I HAVE FOND MEMORIES of working with the people at the Sidney Herald a few years ago. they are bright, proactive and committed to their community—and their newspaper. Recently, Production Manager Ellen Wznick mentioned this ad and I asked her to send it along for review here. Her note was brief: “What do you think of this ad?”
My comments below.
FROM ED: The design of the ad itself is pretty good—with the exception of the “Electricland” type. I find it difficult to read.
As for the ad intruding into editorial space, my thinking is that you’d better get used to it—we’re going to find more and more advertising designed this way. I just hope publishers demand a good premium for this.
Ads like this are part of a workhop I’ve put together recently, entitled: “A License to Print Money: 10 Design Strategies to Generate Revenue at Your Newspaper—Now!” A couple of other such ads follow.
You tell me…what do you think of these ads?
THIS ONE REQUIRES NO INTRODUCTION…
THIS IS A WONDERFUL TREAT. It’s Christmas Eve…take a four-minute break. Follow the link to YouTube…sit back, turn up the volume and glory in what you are about to see and hear.
YOU’LL ONLY SEE THIS COMMERCIAL a couple of times during the holidays. But you can come here and enjoy it…whenever!
WONDERFUL ARRANGEMENT of “The Carol of the Bells.” But there’s another that’s even better…comin’ at ya soon.
So do you wonder, like I do, if she’s REALLY playing that fiddle while run/jumping around the stage? Just a question.
POSTING GIFTS ALL WEEK leading up to Christmas on Saturday, so please remember to check daily.
Today, Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Christmas Canon Rock. Enjoy!
KRISTIN’S BACK WITH ANOTHER Harry Potter page, this one coinciding with the recent release of the latest Harry Potter film.
FROM KRISTIN: “I’m a Harry Potter fan, so when my editor gave me this assignment I was gleeful. I Photoshopped the background and used cutouts to set the Potter mood. The top article is our staff writer’s story on his trip to London and looking for all the Harry Potter scenes from the films. The bottom is an article about the movie itself. Wanted to see what you thought. Let me hear it!”
FROM ED: I like it! A lot!
1. The positioning of the visuals is nicely done.
2. Nice use of the Harry Potter typeface here, in the headline and the drop cap. But remember: Ed. Does. Not. Like. Funky. Fonts. Despite that, it works here.
3. I’d have taken the time and trouble to rid myself of the white outline around the top of Harry’s right shoulder and left lapel.
4. The runaround on Harry’s head is too tight for me.
5. I like the background. It adds depth to the package.
6. Does anyone you work with (managers, other editors) ever give you a hard time about placing elements over the section name? I’m no purist on this point, but I know others can be. Just curious.
Overall, a really nice page. Let’s see what others say!
SCOTT IS A DESIGN “NEWBIE” who’s showing signs of talent. His latest submission follows. Then Ed has some thoughts.
FROM SCOTT: Here’s one of my latest pages for review…hopefully I’m getting better. I’m really trying.
FROM ED: Well, it’s obvious that you’re working at this, Scott. This page some some real thought and planning. I think anyone who’s new at design would be happy to have this page in his/her portfolio. A few points:
1. The page seems a tad too dark. I’d have lightened the photo just a bit more.
2. I like the fact that you ran the “know your terms” information in a lighter box. Makes it easier to read.
3. Bullets and indents in the lead story are redundant. Use either…but not both.
4. Indents here are way too much. You don’t need more than a pica or two.
5. Using a drop cap on a two-letter word makes that second letter (here, the “t”) look really lonely. If I had written the story (as you did here), I’d have changed the lead sentence.
6. I’m assuming the cap “A” on “Approaches” in the lead headline was just an oversight.
All those points considered, it’s still a good page. Nice work!
How about the rest of you…got some guidance/reaction for Scott?