NEWCOMER JAMIE IS LOOKING for some comments on three pages. I’m happy to oblige. Jamie sure would like your input, too!
My name’s Jamie from a small weekly in northern Idaho. I’ve been following your blog for quite some time and decided it was time to submit a couple pages from the St. Maries Gazette Record. The first two pages are front pages of the Gazette, two different designs. The third page is a photo feature with a 10 Questions feature across the bottom. I’m excited to hear your feedback!
1. I love the size of the lead photo but wonder why it is the lead photo when the storm damage pic looks much more newsy—and would tend to draw more emotional interest.
2. All news headlines appear to be the same size, or close. And they’re all the same font. There’s no hierarchy. Readers want to get a sense of what’s more important and we don’t give them that here.
3. Nameplate needs a redesign. It’s too cute to be serious, and I believe a nameplate—though it shouldn’t be stuffy—should always impart a sense of credibility. This is just too playful—especially with the outline type. This should be a priority for you to change.
4. Let’s do away with tint blocks, like the one behind the election results.
5. Why is the “Allan re-elected” head centered when all others are flush left?
1. What do you do with the obits list when you have seven or eight (or more)?
2. Some heds are centered, some not. Is there a rationale for this?
3. Not sure I like all that space on the sides of the memorial story. I’d have made the photo a bit larger to eat up some of that extra space.
4. Your headline type face is very nondescript. There’s no “there” there.
1. Grouped captions are a real problem here. Readers will have trouble telling which caption goes with which photo—and most won’t even bother trying.
2. Somebody there has a “thing” for outlined type. Let’s get away from that dated (1960s) look.
3. Some really good photos on this page!
4. Too much typography in the 10 Questions header. Too many fonts and again some outline type. Simplify, simplify, simplify. Less is more.
5. The question drop caps are all Ws and Hs. Tiresome. Try bolding the first two or three words instead.