MICHAEL IS A CONSISTENT design award winner here in South Carolina. He’s a good visual thinker and he has the design skills to help him get his ideas on the page. Here are three of his recent front pages.
FROM MICHAEL: We were told from above to run the Waccamaw Publishers website story on A1. Still, I tried to be bold with the 6-column photo of traffic trails. It was my attempt to illustrate coverage of state politics (a dry subject) with bold art. Using the surplus for roads in Horry County was a popular item on local leaders’ wish lists.
1. I like the top, especially the large photo. Too bad you had to run the UPC code there.
2. Good lead headline. Makes me want to get to the story.
3. The page below that photo, though, is troubling. It’s almost a checkerboard. I would suggest next time running one of the bottom two stories as a vertical, saving the photo for the jump.
FROM MICHAEL: There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding the hiring of Joe Moglia, the former CEO of TD Ameritrade, as a college football coach at Coastal Carolina University. Adding to it were FOIA experts disputing redacted e-mails between the coach and university president. This was my way of showing the reader the redacted e-mails.
1. I like that you showed the redacted documents. I would have read every word—where they weren’t blocked out.
2. I’d have used soft shadows behind the pages, not the hard look you have here. This is too strong.
3. The top of the package feels very crowded: caption, then photo, then caption, then headline.
4. Caption to right of photo wraps above his arm. Caption on the left is right justified. I’d have given that caption a bit of a text wrap, too—or at least made it flush left.
5. Why the drop cap?
FROM MICHAEL: We’ve been doing so much hard news lately, we wanted to do something special for a feature on the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouting and what a local troop did to celebrate it. Our graphic artist designed the sash. I laid out the stories. The font for the centerpiece is Utopia. It’s increased from the normal 9.2 to 13 point. Leading is increased to 18.
1. Nice work on the scouts package. Though I don’t like computer-generated art, I think we had to do it here—unless you had the opportunity to take a photo of a many-badged sash from one of the local scouts. I like the headline and text treatment. I’m glad you upsized the text and gave it more leading. It works nicely.
2.The nameplate is nicely packaged with the ancillary type but I’m concerned that this is just too small. I’d ask you to not run a nameplate less than half the width of the page (but the make the Scouts package work, I’d OK an exception here. I’m curious to know if you ever get any pushback from your boss on this.
Overall, it’s a very good page. Great focus with the large art. Can’t see why a reader wouldn’t want to dive right in!
Looking for comments/criticisms/witticisms from the rest of you. This doesn’t work without your feedback. Jump in!