MARCUS FITZSIMMONS at The Daily Times sends along four pages from a recent football section.
These are a sample selection from the prep football tab. Each team got the same space and the same ad stack arrangement (save one where advertising didn’t/couldn’t cooperate). We sent out the guidelines on length for the feature and its sections as well as the breakouts. While it wasn’t perfect it was much, much more uniform than in past years and for the first time we haven’t had a series of comments on how we favor one team over another. It also allowed the ad percentage to reach goal for 45% without cramping the content.
The format was a schedule poster for each team on odd page followed by story start and roster on facing pages and then the story conclusion with a full page ad or the next schedule poster facing.
As always, there’s a few things I would do differently but appreciate any feedback from you and the blog as I compile my what-we-learned notes for next year.
1. Only change I’d suggest here is fixing the “levitating throne” by having it sit on the bottom frame of the package.
2. OK, one other suggestion: Perhaps the white type in the schedule needs a drop shadow to give it more presence. Better yet, run that type in black.
1. I think you overdid it in the page label. Using the sword hit as the “T” in “THRONE” is over designing. It might have worked had the Alcoa team name been the Sabres or the Crusaders. But, no, they are the Tornadoes. You spent too much time thinking about this one…and overdid it as a result.
2. I like the numbers box but I really think it needs to have a “By the Numbers” label on it or it doesn’t quite make sense.
3. I don’t know what the numbers represent at the tops of the columns in the chart at the bottom left. Needs better labeling.
1. Putting the two thrones in the page label seems a bit much. Remember, great design comes with what you choose not to do.
2. Otherwise, this is a clean, well-organized page.
1. Ouch! That box coming out of the left rail is really bothersome! I would have done a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g to have kept that from occurring. Editing would be a start.
2. Please remember this mantra for this chart (and the one on the previous page): sans serif in charts…sans serif in charts…sans serif in charts…sans se……
So some problems here, but I’m willing to bet this is far better that what we’ve done in the past. And your mention of the “what-we-learned notes” you’re preparing promises that next year’s effort will be even better!