9 responses to “Page from: Marah Pahl | Kanabec County Times

  1. Anonymous

    Thank you for the feedback. I haven’t had much experience working with layout, but am very thankful for all of your thoughts!

  2. I dont see how this design would help rack sales, if that’s a concern.
    The school district stripping top, family across 5 or 4 or a 4.5 with the POW in the side chimney gets you three good headlines above the fold.

    To expound on two of Ed’s points, the space between graphs is magnifying how tight the other elements are to each other. The school district’s descenders are almost blocking out its drop head.

    Let that bad boy breathe a little bit and put what the reader sees when the paper is folded up on the newsstand or racks. I think the other issues become easier to tackle from that point.

  3. I think there’s an issue with the headline, too. If the entire thing isn’t a quote–which it doesn’t seem to be–it means the newspaper is using the “royal we” there. I mean, who is “we” in this instance? If it were in quotes, it would make sense.

    Worse, by putting just “family” in quotes, it implies that it’s something less than a real family–a family-with-quotes-around-it.

    Had that been an actual quote from the story, and it had been put entirely in quotes, I think it works. But I think this forces a square peg into a round hole, with unintended results.

    Quotation marks are powerful things …

    • Thanks, Joe. Kinda sums up my problem with the headline. And you’re right about quote marks being powerful things. Notice that I didn’t put that in quotes…don’wanna give you too much power. ;-}

      • Hang in there, Marah. Layout and headline writing are two of the hardest parts of the job. It’s great that you care enough to come to Ed for advice!

  4. Scott M. Brings Plenty

    Not a fan of this page at all. But, I can’t be too hard as it looks like one of my first tries. Welcome to the world of design! Be humble…listen…and learn :)

    Everyone has mentioned all the problems I would have had with it…but, one more to mention would be the tombstone headline…I truly did read it “Mora School District Prisoner of War”…I know the second head is in italics, but that’s actually how I read it the first time I glanced.

    Keep at it!!

  5. Jack

    Ed, in response to your statement:
    8. Is placing a line of space between paragraphs a new style…or have I just not noticed previously?
    I have seen this slowly cropping up in different publications the last 2-3 years, myself. I’ve even seen this spacing between every graph done in large papers, too, like the Omaha World Herald, and once in the Chicago Trib. And I’ve been meaning to mention it here sometime, thinking someone would be able to explain it to me.
    Honestly, whenever I see the spacing between paragraphs, it bugs the hell out of me!
    I can see no reason for it. Why? To separate paragraphs? That’s why we have an indent in the first sentence!
    The ONLY reason I can see that someone MIGHT do this, is to try to avoid widows / orphans in an article’s text layout — which seems like burning down a house to get rid of a crack in a window to me. It’s not a fix that makes sense. It calls attention to the problem; it doesn’t fix it. Adjusting your kerning (the spacing between text) is a much better fix for type falling oddly. Or even breaking up longer paragraphs; sometimes that will quickly solve a troublesome widow/orphan, as well.
    Also, when you have this spacing between paragraphs, it base it so the bottom line of your text does not line up. Descenders are doing all sorts of funky things you don’t want.
    I really hope this is is a quick short-hand fix by designers pressed for time, and not something that is becoming the norm.

  6. Jack

    A friend (who works at a newspaper I used to work at) just pointed out to me that he has had two different page designers come straight out of college to work for him who kept putting these spaces between paragraphs.

    He had to talk to them about it (drove him crazy, too), and the answer he finally got from them was basically, “Well, paragraphs have spacing between them on webpages.”

    To which he asked, “But they don’t in newspapers. Haven’t you looked at a newspaper before?”

    “Uhhh… Internets is good?”

    If that’s what’s going on, then, Yes, spaces are frequently put between paragraphs in e-mails or on webpages to help break up paragraphs, because that makes the paragraphs easier to read on a screen. However, in that case, they are accomplishing the same function as indenting a paragraph in print: it makes it easier to read.

    But don’t do both.

    (edit: I should’ve put spacing between the paragraphs in the post above. As if emphasizing my friend’s point, I presumed that the website’s message coding would automatically do so.)

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