Category Archives: Poll | survey

Poll results: Impediments to good design at community newspapers

I’M DISAPPOINTED. I thought there would be more interest.

There wasn’t. Fifteen votes.

Here are the results.

I could go on a rant here about the real answer being “No one at community newspapers gives a damn about design.” But I think I would be wrong…to rant, that is. I’m beginning to think I’m right about no one at community newspapers giving a damn about design. OK, not “no one.” But too many of the editors, managers and publishers at community newspapers continue to demonstrate that they couldn’t care less about design.

How do I know that? I’ve seen their papers.

The correct answer to the poll questions options is: All of the above.

No one is trained.

No one has the time.

No one bothers to plan.

No one offers design leadership.

No one cares about design.

Disagree? Prove me wrong. For every feel-designed community newspaper out there, I can show you at least a dozen that are terrible.

And the sad part of it is that most of the staff and managers at community newspapers have no concept of design. They’re comfortable with what they have…even it it’s ugly, uninspired and uninviting. And they don’t seem to care about making it better.

That’s the disappointment.


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Poll results: Impediments to good design

“NO ONE HAS THE TIME.” Forty-four percent of those who voted in the LinkedIn poll say that’s the greatest impediment to good design at community newspapers.

Next highest number was 20 percent of the vote: “No one is trained to do quality design.” At 17 percent, “No one offers design leadership” received 5 of the 29 total votes. “No one bothers to plan” was the choice of 3 voters and “No one cares about design” received 2 votes.

Clearly, the respondents on LinkedIn feel that lack of time is the major barrier to good design at community newspapers.

Now it’s your turn.

The same poll, the same questions—but here on the blog, where access isn’t quite so limited as it is on LinkedIn.

Here’s the poll. Vote now!

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Last week to vote! What gets in the way of good design?

HERE’S YOUR LAST CHANCE TO VOTE in the LinkedIn poll. What do you think is the greatest impediment to good design at community newspapers?

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?

Cast your vote—and leave your comments—here!

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Good design: What gets in the way?

THE POLL CONTINUES. We want to know what you think is the greatest impediment to good design ad community newspapers.

Training? Time? Planning? Lack of leadership? No on cares?

Perhaps you think (as others do) that it really comes down to lack of money.

You’re invited to vote and leave your comments in Ed’s LinkedIn poll.

So, go here and have at it!

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Impediments to good design: LinkedIn poll

WHAT ARE IMPEDIMENTS to good design at community newspapers?

Is it lack of training? Lack of time? Lack of interest? Lack of leadership? A bit of all of those?

Ed has set up a poll on LinkedIn and you are invited to vote and leave your comments.

Go go here!

Then watch this blog for the results.

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Poll results: Retouching photos

IT’S A THREE-FER! Our poll on retouching photos has two front-runners with the third right up there in the running. Then there are the…uh…others.

You can see the results for yourself. Pretty clear how those who voted (92 total votes) feel.

Here are some of the comments from those who voted:

“Never is too strong but it should be very very rare.”

“If you would cut it out, (ie right situation, usage, internal style) then ok.”

“I wouldn’t have retouched either of the two photos in the illustration.”

“A slight retouch, as with this photo, is ok. But almost never is my opinion.

“Nothing that would alter photo’s content and/or mislead readers.”

“On submitted photo, I’ll remove a date stamp if I can’t crop it out. That’s all.”

“Retouch to improve image quality only. Content should never be added or removed.”

“Photos should only be retouched when they’re labelled as such.”

“Only if it does not misrepresent the subject or event as it occurred.”

“We crop to remove distracting backgrounds so same applies to retouching.”

“I’ve ‘cloned out’ lettering on a T-shirt that read, ‘I’m with stupid,’ and I’ve reduced cleavage on high school Homecoming queens…even been guilty of trimming down a good friend’s waistline one time for her teacher retirement photo…no harm done! I have a camera. I have Photoshop. Might as well make the best of both!”

Also, check out the running comments that accompanied the original post.

More polls to come.

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Poll: Would you…or wouldn’t you?

I RECENTLY RECEIVED an email from a client asking me to offer my opinion on a few photos of the Pope. One of them was to be used as part of a package for the magazine.

Here are two photos from the batch I received.

My reaction to the top pic was: “I wouldn’t use the first photo of the Pope. Looks like he has a crane growing out of his nose!” I also didn’t like the fact that the photo was mostly of the Pope’s back.

On the second photo, I commented: “I retouched it a bit (see retouched photo, below) to take some of the distracting smudges out of the background. Don’t know if you have a policy on that. I think the retouched shot is a lot cleaner, but I leave the decision on its use up to the two of you.”

My problem with the unretouched photo was that it looked like the Pope had a growth or whatever emerging from the top of his arm. And, I reasoned, this was a feature photo, not a timely news photo that couldn’t be altered in Photoshop.

What are your thoughts? Retouch? Don’t retouch? Occasionally? Never?

Take the poll. Let us know what you think! I’ll report on your responses in an upcoming post.


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Poll results: What is your view of advertising on page 1?

THE RESULTS ARE IN…in yet another 100-plus-vote poll. This one drew 109 votes and the top response won almost half the votes. Check it out for yourself. Comments from the poll follow the chart.


Looks like I’m the only one that voted for “Bring it on”! Must be the only salesperson that visits. Just a reminder, every employee is on full commission. If nobody out there buys ads, nobody here has a job.

Okay, but it should never dominate over the news hole.

Not a fan, but it generates so much revenue you can’t say no.

It’s not just the front page. Ad $s to support journalism is the devil, per… [comment ends]

OK (with reluctance), but make them be really nicely designed ads.

As owner I’ll take ads anywhere they want them!

One strip ad at bottom and one corner ad, any front page.

One ad on the front is an honest declaration that a newspaper is a business.

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Poll: What is your view of advertising on the front page?

READER BARRY HOFF wrote in late March to ask:


Have you ever done a poll question on advertising on the front page? May not be well suited to a design blog, but I noticed the ads on Brian Lazzuri’s page and thought, ‘I wonder if Ed has ever addressed advertising on the front?’ ”

I thought Barry had hit on something, so I wrote back:


I’ve flagged your note. Good idea! Looking forward to posting that poll in a couple of weeks. What questions do you think I should ask about it? I mean, if I ask whether people like/don’t like ads on the front I think I know what kind of response we’re gonna get. Any ideas?


Barry responded quickly: “Now you’re gonna make me think!” and then offered some questions for the poll, which I’ve posted verbatim.

NOTE: If you want to see what too many ads can do to page one, be sure to check out the pages from Lauri Shillings further down on this page: …and…speaking of ads on page 1…

So…have at it! What are your thoughts about ads on page 1? Hate ’em? Don’t care? Here’s the poll…


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Poll results: Your page design software

ONE HUNDRED VOTES…MOST EVER in a poll on Ed Henninger’s Blog! So the percentages and the vote totals are the same number.  I’ve been mathematically brain dead since my sophomore year in high school, but even I can make sense of that.

Interesting that I described Quark 5 in the poll as “…missing in action” and there were no votes—zero…zip…nada—for Quark 5.

Comments from the blog follow the chart. Here are some comments that accompanied the poll:

“InDesign CS2…ah, yesteryear!”

“InDesign CS (we’re way behind!)”

“InDesign, but still missing the speed of Quark.”

“CS3 and I HATE it.”

“InDesign CS3 and CS4—waiting until all my equipment is Into to go CS4.”

Joel Martin: “We upgraded to ID from Quark 4 (and in some cases 3.3) about five years ago. Some of our people are still using CS1.”

Joel Martin: “I retract that last. I did a double-check and the last CS1 users were upgraded last summer. We’re slowly but surely achieving uniformity. Now if we all had the same fonts…”

David Merrill: “We finally upgraded from Quark to InDesign late last year, and it’s been a relief to me. I started with Quark 3.3 back when Windows 3.1 was the hot new kid on the block, and it and Photoshop became my good friends (and generated some income). Quark’s propensity for crashing Windows burned into my brain the computer adage “Save early and often.” I got all the way to Quark 7.3 before I resigned myself to the fact that they had never solved that basic crashing issue, and although Kevin Slimp claims that Quark 8 has finally leveled the playing field with InDesign, I just couldn’t see spending our limited budget continuing on that path.”

Jay Dickerson: “I’m curious about those who voted “Other”–what are you using?”

Lauri Shillings: “Our building has several versions of InDesign installed- but not everywhere and are using the Ver. 6 Quark for news pages. We are forced to use a much older version (4.0) of it for our classifieds- due to the ‘baseview’ we are chained to for our database…. arrgghh. How many others out there have this same issue? I wish we could all upgrade to one thing on every workstation!!!”

Karen Nelson: “We are with you there, Lauri. We use Q6 for news, Q4 for classifieds/legals. Our databases (APT) for the two sides don’t talk. It gets super-frustrating. And what with the redundant export-import process we have to do to get things to film, we run a huge risk of press stops. A couple workstations have InDesign but only for commercial jobs — not our own stuff. For those using InDesign, what front-end system do you use?”


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