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Design thread

Discussion in 'Design Discussion' started by carrie, Oct 3, 2005.

  1. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    One of my cardinal rules ... and I don't have any well-stated reason, I just hold myself to this ... is that I won't go 6-on-6 with a story. To me, six columns of type look too imposing. If I have a six-column hole, there is going to be four or five legs, never six.
  2. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    buck, thanks for your advice, i do appreciate it, truly.

    a little insight into my thought process on the page: we had 5 state champs and i wanted to give them all equal representation (as best as possible, at least) by keeping the photos near the same size. i thought about a dominant piece of art, but wanted all 5 kids to feel that their titles were equal in value. one big piece of art and 4 smaller ones felt unjustified to me. re: "killer dominance" ... it's relative to a junior who has won 19 individual state titles in 3 years. to me, that really is killer dominance. perhaps it could've been worded better, but nothing really popped out. i wanted the effect of a girl who's won so much, so easily, to really present itself.

    re: gwen ... i originally had the white text in bold, then put it back into regular type and simply forgot to rebold it, which is how i wanted it. the final product is OK: readable, but you have to work to read it. it's the one part of the page that i didn't like. i usually do bold white text in black boxes/photos, but just made a mistake this time.

    anyway, thanks again, i'll take your suggestions to heart.
  3. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    It's a tough part of the job, but at some point you've got to make the hard decision and stick to it. You're not putting out a section for just those five athletes -- and you can still give them all a nod of respect, which I know I did plenty of in a small town too, even with a dominant photo.

    If they feel like their titles are worth any less because of how you played it in the local paper, then they need to get their priorities straight. They're not going to get any scholarships because of your coverage, and they shouldn't be looking to your paper for affirmation, either.
  4. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Good observation. If I may, I don't think I was doing it for them, to validate them in any shape or manner; I don't think I've ever done that. I wanted to present the equality of art to the readers, which happens to include the quintet of athletes.

    Most times, and I'll probably post some more pages, you'll see that I have a big piece of art and complementary pieces. I like big. Most of the time, anyway.
  5. Xan, as Buck said, you need one dominant photo on the sports page. I also agree with the long jump photo.

    Running a bunch of photos of equal size defeats the whole purpose of what you're trying to do. If the story was about those five you could have packaged the photos together, perhaps run them down a column like oversized mugshots - as long as you have a dominant element somewhere on the page.

    The top is very hard to follow. It's fine to use a title for the entire page but you need a subhead over the story to let me know where I'm supposed to begin reading. The I is floating and the pulled quote looks like you stuck it there to cover the white space.

    It's especially difficult to put together a full-length feature package with multiple photos while on deadline but there's a formula you can follow. Dominant art. Always have a head/subhead above your story and try to keep elements in squares (someone who has designed more recently than me can tell you the name of that.)

    It's hard for me to remember all the rules and terminology since it's been seven years since I was an everyday designer ... but I hope that helps.
  6. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    "Modular design" is the name you're looking for. You don't want one package of elements dog-legging around another package.
  7. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    The 10 thing's nice, except I can't figure out why you did it. But there's just too much damned white space at the bottom of the page. And that's coming from someone who likes white space.
  8. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    10 as in 10 events for a decathlon. The first one ever staged in New Hampshire for girls.

    White space at bottom: there was nothing I felt belonged there. I wanted it to be a sense of open-ness for his throwing of the shot put.

    I got 2nd place in New England for that section. Maybe the white space prevented me from getting 1st.
  9. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    OK, never mind. It seems like you already have all the answers. I'll stop commenting on your pages now.
  10. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    I don't have all the answers, GD. I'm explaining why I did some of the things I did. The 10 is for 10 events, and as for the white space, that's just how I felt about it. I took your suggestion to heart about having so much white space. You're probably right about it.
  11. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    OK, fair enough. Maybe I read too much into your response. One other thing to consider is the width of some of your columns. I love breaking the mold, but try not to go above 13 or 14p for any column width -- the old "dollar bill" rule.
  12. Willie-Butch

    Willie-Butch Member

    Ah, the dollar bill rule. The bain of my existence, at least on my inside pages. A very, very good rule, though.
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