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?