TRACY SENT ALONG a batch of pages for Ed to select and comment on. Ed chooses some to work with and…well… just read on…
Hello, Ed, from the Catholic Herald in Milwaukee!
We’re hoping you’ll have some useful critiques for us, if you can fit us in your schedule. We are currently working on a redesign, and would welcome any comments on our layouts. I’m sending you a few front pages and a few inside or back pages, some of our better work and some of the things that we think had potential for more. You’ll have a selection to choose from and on which to offer comments. I just thought I’d send several so you can compare the normal “bland” layouts to the some of our better work and choose to use one or several.
We already have a new design for our masthead, so the old one that’s shown will not be used when we roll out the new design.
Please let me know if you need anything else from us. We’ve been meaning to do this for quite some time now.
Thank you so much for your help!
FROM ED: So, as you can guess, the first thing I asked Tracy to send me is a copy of the new masthead (you’ll see it following the pages). She did so, with the caveat that “This may still be tweaked, changed…etc., but at least it’s something else people can comment on before we roll out our redesign.” I selected four pages from the seven Tracy submitted. Those pages, the nameplate and comments follow.
1. Text on this and two other pages (the page about the former Planned Parenthood director is the exception) is not aligned to a baseline grid. This is a design fundamental that needs fixing now.
2. I’m glad to know you’re working on a redesign for the nameplate. Needs it! This one is certainly dated…and it almost looks like you’re apologizing for being the Herald.
3. I’m not a fan of color screens behind packages.
4. The subhead and the two-column byline force the top of the text to stair-step in the lead package. It’s distracting.
5. Hope you’re leaving that vanilla-plain sans serif font headline type behind when you redesign!
1. Because of your weak sans serif headline face, the ‘He was ours!’ headline has minimal impact. Needs something bigger and bolder.
2. Can’t think of a time when I would ever—ever—want to run a nameplate in yellow!
3. I find the smaller photo more visually interesting than the lead, though I understand that the lead photo is your local shot.
Overall, I like this page. Good use of the photo and fine overall design. Some points:
1. Again, your wimpy headline font hurts the package.
2. Not sure I like the blue pullout…and it seems a bit long.
3. Nice use of the book cover art.
1. Another good page, though the red infobox type is distracting. I’d have put that material at the bottom of the page, below the first two legs of text. And probably not in red.
2. Would like to see either of these two photos become more dominant. They’re both about the same size now.
This needs some tweaking, as you suggest
1. Have you considered a typeface other than (tired old) Times? Something with more impact? I could suggest a few, and I’m sure others here could do the same.
2. If you stay with the Times, you might experiment with tightening the horizontal scale. Try 90%…perhaps as tight at 85%. Be v-e-r-y careful!
3. Some kerning is needed, especially between the C and the A. Maybe a bit between the R and the A.
4. Have you considered colors other than the black and gray? How about Red for “Catholic”?
Ed’s had his go…now it’s your turn. Jump in!