A RECENT REDESIGN of The Daily Times in Maryville, TN, brought me in touch with Managing Editor Frank “Buzz” Trexler. During our work together, I gained a solid respect for Buzz and his skills. He’s a good manager, a good editor and a good person. Recently, I saw the front page of The Daily Times that Buzz and his designers worked up for Easter. I asked him to send me a pdf. His response follows, along with some notes from yrs. truly. Frank threw in another page, which also follows…and more notes from this guy. (Designer Amanda Greever followed up on Frank’s note to say that the Easter front idea came from the newspaper in Muncie, IN.)
Here it is.
We ran an inside story asking pastors “What does the Resurrection mean to you?” We also had a numbered cross asking readers to identify the church crosses, given that they were all Blount County churches. If anyone had sent in one answered correctly, they would have won a gift basket with cash cards. We even promoted it, but there were no takers.
We received about 50 calls asking where their front page was, thinking this was a religion section. That was another downside. The upside: Only a couple of complaints.
I like the idea. I like the page. I don’t like the script type behind the cross being quite soooo light. And I wish there had been a teaser along the bottom of the page (above the index, etc.) letting me know that the “real” front page was inside. Other than that—even though it was an idea taken from another paper—I’d enter this in contests. Yes, I think it’s that good—to a great degree, because it’s that different.
1. Teaser art is unexciting.
2. Lead art and headline are nicely packaged. I especially like the sizing and the use of gray in the headline.
3. Sure wish we had had some people in the sanctuary photo. It’s too inactive, and without bodies it’s hard to get a read on size and proportions of the place.
4. Too much gray type below the fold. The liftout would have helped more had it been placed in the middle of that sea of gray—or perhaps across the second and third legs of the package about 2/3rds of the way down.
5. There’s a hyphenation in the liftout. Style should be fixed to block hyphenation in liftouts. They are display type and—like headlines—they should not be allowed to hyphenate.
6. A liftout about 2/3rd down in the Buchanan column would have helped, too.
So, those are Ed’s thoughts. How about the rest of you? Let’s know what you think!