BECKY IS NEW TO the blog, and offers up an interesting front page for us to see. She mentions “a lot of in-office opinions” and I’d sure be interested in hearing what they were. Nonetheless, we soldier on…
Thus is a front page for the Paoli News-Republican. I have worked at a newspaper for about 28 years but have only been doing page layout for about a year and a half. Our newspaper has about 3,000 circulation. I would really appreciate your expert opinion since there was a lot of in-office opinions about what I could have done differently with this page.
Thank you for your time,
1. I really like the fact that you committed your entire front to a very important story.
2. I don’t get the need for the big “Fire” in the red. And why ever would you use italics on such a hard news story? I’d have recommended a very bold sans serif typeface like Impact or Helvetica Compressed. But the difference in the sizes between “Fire” and the rest of the headline is very distracting, as is the red. This headline calls too much attention to itself, when the real purpose of a headline is to get me to the story.
3. I would like to have seen a pullout or a sidebar or an infobox—more points of entry to get me into the story. What we have here is a long, linear story…that jumps!
4. Super lead photo! I was going to suggest that you crop it about an inch or two down from the top, but then I felt that the smoke was as much a part of the story (and the photo) as any other element on the page.
5. Placing the two smaller photos in the bottom corners of the page can tend to draw readers out of the page. I’d have cropped them to be the same depth, then placed them at the top of legs 2-6, below the headline. Then place the type below the photos, coming down in an “L” from the first leg.
6. The oval (courthouse?) photo in the nameplate might look better if it were just a bit embossed and shadowed.
7. Don’t like the “PAOLI” reverse.
8. Would like to see you place the UPC code elsewhere.
That’s all from Ed. How about the rest of you? Let’s give Becky some feedback.