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Constructive criticism please

Discussion in 'Design Discussion' started by RedCanuck, Jun 14, 2006.

  1. RedCanuck

    RedCanuck Active Member

    This front page comes from a sports section at a small weekly, with one staffer who does most of the writing, photography, and design for this broadsheet section and a tabloid section each week. The paper has few resources, and rarely receives colour.

    Today's front page is in the .jpg attached.  Sorry about the lack of PDF, but I don't have access to Acrobat from this computer.  Any likes, dislikes, suggestions?

  2. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    No, the Red X works pretty well.
  3. RedCanuck

    RedCanuck Active Member

    Fixed...I hope.
  4. LukeKnox

    LukeKnox Member

    Hey RedCanuck,

    Seems like a pretty solid page with a clean design. Some thoughts/nitpicks:

    - Like the cutout at the top with the nice, simple inside refer.

    - Pretty decent CP art, and the designer definitely gave very nice play to the images, though I'd question having a 5-column, 3-line cutline with it -- you may have needed that much cutline, but generally I think that's a bit daunting for the reader.

    - I see there's a drop cap on the CP story; may be the paper's style, but it looks out of place on what looks otherwise like a newsy gamer. Especially with the same size of drop cap on the column and the Dickson story in the lower right ... takes away the impact of having one.

    - Kinda wish the CP headline was a bit bigger, just to provide more contrast with the headline in the story below it. It's always good to have that clear hierarchy between heds.

    - Also, I wonder about adding a little white space around the CP, just to set it off some. It still would pop very nicely with 15-20 points of space around the outside of the package

    - Is there a light gray screen behind the column and local round-up on the left? Not sure that's really needed, but the paper's style may well demand it. Plus, if the cover is almost always black and white, I can understand wanting to jazz things up any way you can.

    - One thing to watch for is major discrepancies in the amount of type on different stories for the covers. On this page, there's the junior boys story and the Dickson story down-page ... Dickson gets two graphs, where the designer could've put that story over two columns (maybe with a regular-sized mugshot) and still had room to play up the junior boys story over three columns.

    But all in all, a real solid page. Especially given the fact that it's a one-man operation.
  5. RedCanuck

    RedCanuck Active Member

    Thanks Luke,

    I agree with most of your suggestions. The cutline on the lead photo probably could be broken into two columns or something along those lines, and in hindsight, I thought the same thing about the heds on the two stories when I saw that. Point taken about Dickson too.

    The drop caps, and the general lack of white space are part of the paper's style. The drop caps could probably be killed, but I'm not sure the white space argument is winnable.

    Thanks again for the positives.
  6. Overrated

    Overrated Guest

    Very solid page, although I'm in the camp that thinks any type of war reference needs to be kept as far away as possible in any sports story or headline. Referring to a game as a battle does a great injustice to veterans and their families all around the world.
  7. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    This is just a personal preference, but I'd switch the bottom two stories to avoid butting your art.
  8. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    I'm with the Doctor.
    Switching those two bottom pieces will get the art away from eachother, and balance the page.
    And, I'm glad I didn't have to write that 5 column, 3-line cutline. If you could afford the space, it would have been nice to see the main shot a little deeper with the headlines above the fold. May have helped with some more impact.
  9. Lollygaggers

    Lollygaggers Member

    It's well balanced, but you need more heirarchy and more white space. The headlines, from this view, don't seem to have much difference in size, weight, caps, etc., and they should, especially with the centerpiece. Do you use rules at all? They are a great way to break up a page and create more white space, again, especially with the centerpiece. I've seen papers that only use rules for big packages, and others that use them to separate every story. I'm an every story fan, but they should be used at some point.
  10. RedCanuck

    RedCanuck Active Member

    There are rules between every story on that page...both horizontal and vertical rules. If you click on the photo and see the larger view, you should be able to see them.

    The bottom headline should have been in a smaller size, granted. I like having one set font for heads and one for subheads without straying from that at all - and I stick by the rule of no heads in CAPS, unless war breaks out or something to that effect.

    As for white space, I'd like a little a more in our grid too, but I didn't have the go-ahead to change that.
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