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Design review

Discussion in 'Design Discussion' started by bmereness, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. bmereness

    bmereness Member

    I am new to the site, well I have been reading for a couple months but only recently signed up. A couple of weeks ago I was forced into my first trip into design. The paper I work at recently underwent a change in workflow so the sports desk is only responsible for 2 layouts per week. The person who normally designs the pages on such days also covers the Kansas City Chiefs for us. The Houston game a couple of weeks ago was rescheduled to a later time putting him too close to deadline. Therefore I designed my first page.

    I thought I would post my design to see what kind of feedback anyone with more experience could put forth. I would like to learn what I could do better and maybe things I should keep doing on any future designs.

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  2. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    Five things jump out:

    1. Such a tight crop on such a large photo is clumsy. Either pick a wider shot or crop that one differently.

    2. The disparity in column width is awkward and makes the page seem less streamlined.

    3. There's way too much text on the front from the main story. My personal preference was to run between 5 and 9 inches on the cover of any story, with the possible exception of a hold-in.

    4. Having kickers on the NFL and World Series stories was nice, but it would have been cleaner to have one on the college football story, as well.

    5. Breakout boxes of any kind would really liven this page up.
  3. bmereness

    bmereness Member

    Definitely things I can keep in mind, thanks for the feedback. I am curious though about photo selection, we generally pick a photo of the pivotal moment and make it the dominant, that's just how it came over. Is that the wrong way to go about it?
  4. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    Some photos work better as dominant art, while others work better as complementary art. In this case, I might have looked for a celebration shot for the main art and used that as the secondary.
  5. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    Don't have a problem with the photo, other than it's a little small for main art. I'd just push the bottom stories down about 2 inches, narrow that wide rail on the main story and make the photo a little bigger. That would solve most of the issues with this page. I certainly did a lot worse when I was starting out, so it's definitely a solid page for someone without much experience. At my paper, we'd run the headline a bit bigger as well, and just say LAST MEN STANDING, and bump it up some.
  6. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    Old-school here. But I still hold to the theory that if you have two non-related heads bumping on a page (especially a broadsheet page) ... well, there's just a better way to do it. Think of it.

    That's how I look at quite a number of things design-wise. I can't state letter and verse why shouldn't be done. But if it doesn't ring true when I look at it, I find a better way, and I don't go back to what I didn't think worked.

    Personally not that crazy with the choice (I don't know, perhaps it's your newspaper's style) to come up so tight on your main head with other elements. I think you could have used a little vertical air around there.

    This. Definitely this.

    But to echo BDC99, as far as people showing us their pages on here, this is definitely in the top half. Pretty clean page.

    As far as selecting art, yeah, look for that seminal moment, whether it's local or national. But don't let yourself stop at that. Look at the rest of the art to see if there's another shot that's so compelling that it BEATS that highlight shot. If you're looking at AP photos, take a look at any APTOPIX photos, just to see if there's something that knocks you over.
  7. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    Not completely opposed to bumping heads, but definitely try not to do it on the cover. Easy to fix here ... just flop the Mizzou and Series stories, and split it with the photo, with two-deck heds on both stories. And if you pushed the stories down as suggested earlier, you could try to square the Series story with the bottom of the pic, which would look much better.
  8. bmereness

    bmereness Member

    Thanks again everyone for the feedback. It looks like I might get another chance in a couple of weeks. I will hopefully have learned a few things and I will post my progress.
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