AN INTERESTING QUESTION comes our way, thanks to Marah. Her note follows…and Ed has some thoughts below the page.
This is the front page from our Pine City paper. Just want your input on using different column widths in a paper. The 7 column on the bottom was an accident, since our paper is supposed to be 6 columns across. Thanks!
1. I have a simple rule for column widths on a news page: only one package can vary from standard column width. Too many column widths on a page destroy the structure of the page and may give readers a sense that one package somehow accompanies another. Example: the Storm Lets Loose package may initially appear to go with the Steady as she grows story—because they are placed one above the other and they are a different measure than the packages in the left two columns. The rule, again: only one package can vary from standard column width.
2. Running the snow photo above and behind the folio information looks like a mistake.
3. Love the nameplate! I designed it about a dozen years ago.
4. Would rather see the UPC code placed elsewnere. It’s too close to the nameplate art.
5. Headlines are all sized about the same. This is boring—and offers no sense of headline hierarchy.
How about the rest of you? Your thoughts? Your suggestions?
HERE ARE TWO MORE pages from Michael Smith, a steady contributor here.
At our publication, it’s hard to do anything with non A-1 section fronts given the bottom half of the page goes to advertising. Usually, when I have good content, I run the photo big and put the story on the photo if the photo allows. Here, the photo also allowed a secondary photo to be added.
Lately, I’ve been centering my headlines to add white space. It also adds a feature flair to a straight news page.
FROM ED: I like the top page, Michael, and I’m not against running type in the sky (or other open space), as long as it doesn’t do damage to the photo. In this case, I think the overlay works well.
Your comment on the second page that “Lately, I’ve been centering my headlines…” concerns me in one respect. It’s an indication that you may decide at another time to go back to flush left headlines. So…the possible lack of consistency is a worry. If you’re going to center headlines, then go to that as a style—and follow it through on all pages. With the exception of an occasional feature, your headlines should follow a set style (either flush left or centered) so readers can find comfort in that sameness.
You may have seen (and voted in?) the poll on all-caps headlines. If not, check it out in an earlier post.
I’d be interested in seeing your response to these comments, Michael. And others…what do you have to say?