Sentiment at this time (see above) is that no one has the time. Lack of training, no planning, lack of leadership and “no one cares” are far outpaced.
What are your thoughts?
BOB JUMPS IN with three recent feature pages, looking for reflections and recommendations from Ed—and you!
I’ve been working on giving our Accent section a little bit of kick (and trying to win some awards in the process). One of your other prodigies received first place in the South Carolina Press Assn. contest for sports design this year, so I thought maybe you could help me out like you helped her.
Anyway, here are three feature pages we’ve run during March. Thoughts? Comments? Criticisms? Be harsh, you won’t hurt my feelings (much)!
1. A really good approach with the typography reversed into the cropped pants.
2. You get an “ugh” for stating the obvious with the color in the headline. Let’s not…but if you must, then use a drop shadow instead of outlining the type there.
3. Top two photos are very static. It would have helped to have had a person or two in those shots.
4. Placement of the captions is good.
5. Good use of negative space. I’m happy to see you resisted the temptation to fill every square inch of space on the page!
6. It’s not something you control, but you should push to get rid of the extra-large page number in the header. It’s distracting.
7. On a scale of 1-10, I give this a 7+.
1. Ed does not like funky fonts (SEXY).
2. Photos are unexciting.
3. Ed does not like grouped captions. They make readers work too hard.
4. Lots of gray type on the left of the page.
5. Do you always put recipes in that yellow box? It’s distracting and it can limit what you do elsewhere on the page.
6. The “Tell us…” box seems overly long. Seems to me the last sentence or two really tells me all I need to know.
7. I’m uncomfortable with the box around the page. I don’t see what it adds to the look.
8. From 1-10? It’s a 6.
1. Yikes! Papyrus! Actually, it’s a typeface I really like…BUT!!!!!!!!!!…not one I’d use. Ever. Why? Because it become soooooo popular and sooooooo overused within months of it being introduced.
2. “RESUMES” is obviously scaled too tightly. This is just bad typography.
3. I like the leopard (cheetah?) pattern for the background.
4. Good use of the photos here.
5. I’d have tucked the beginning of the type under the drop cap T.
6. And…I’d have been tempted to wrap some type around the snout and neck of that antelope/eland/whatever on the right.
7. Despite the negatives noted above, on the 1-10 scale I give the package an 8.
I’m sure Bob would like to hear from the rest of you. Get in the game with your comments and criticisms.
TANNER CHRISTENSEN shares some brief thoughts about brainstorming on his blog.
I’ve always considered brainstorming as a kind of group activity. But if you have a “committee inside your head” like I do, it seems only right to take advantage of that.
SCOTT IS BACK looking for reax on a couple of recent pages.
FROM SCOTT: Hello Ed, here’s a couple of pages I’ve designed over the past few weeks that I thought were at least somewhat keen. I struggled a little with the Best Bets page and had totally overdesigned it at first. Then, I took a step back and tried to make it as clean as possible.
1. Do the numbers imply a ranking? If so, which is better, the 1 or the 8?
2. When I do pages like this, I like to include 10 items. A list of eight seems incomplete (by two!).
3. One of the photos needs to be the dominant art. I’d have used the shoe HUGE!
4. I like the way you handled the photo credits. Nicely done.
5. The headline, with the drop white then drop shadow, feels overdone. And why the two different typefaces there?
6. Scale of 1-10? It’s a 7+
1. Good use of the photo, but…isn’t that phone at least 6-8 years old? The screen is teeny-tiny and the photo seems dated as a result.
2. Glad to see the “By the Numbers” box, but the underline on the head is too heavy (I’d have gone without the underline). And the centered type is more difficult to read than flush left.
4. Headline and subhead both begin with “Teen(s).”
5. Scale of 1-10: It’s an 8. Overall, it’s clean and easy to follow.
Your thoughts? Share your suggestions with Scott!
KRISTIN JOINS THE FUN with this recent Sunday page.
FROM KRISTIN: “Spring has sprung and I’m having a little spring fever. I was putting together this garden story and just wanted to get out into nature. Hopefully it will make you and others do the same. Get a tall glass of ‘sweet tea’ and sit on the porch for a while.”
FROM ED: Not very much to criticize about this page. It’s well-assembled and everything seems to be in the right place.
1. I like the treatment of “In” in the headline.
2. The sans serif subhead font leaves me underwhelmed.
3. My sense of this page is that it’s kinda boring. As I mentioned above, everything seems to be in the right place—and perhaps that’s a problem for this designer. I would like to have seen something more dynamic. Perhaps the bottom or top photo trimmed in from the sides a bit. Maybe some negative space. Maybe a photo notched into the text. It’s a good page, but it fails to excite me in any way. As an editor told me years ago: “There’s no ‘there’ there.”
So, is Ed being unkind? Do you like the page? What changes would you suggest?