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How many columns?

Discussion in 'Design Discussion' started by ColbertNation, Apr 16, 2007.

  1. ColbertNation

    ColbertNation Member

    Saw a paper last week that used seven columns across its sports front (six plus a rail), and it looked ugly as all get-out. We have a left rail (don't get me started on that monstrosity), but we do four columns after that. And I was always taught that if you have a wide-open page (a la a section front) to base it off five columns. Obviously, you don't have to do that all the time, but I really don't like my fronts to be too condensed and cluttered.
    So, how many columns do your fronts have, and how many should a section front have?
  2. huntsie

    huntsie Active Member

    Ours is a 6 column front (five and a rail). Stats are a 7 column grid. It's way too small, not wide enough. Readers have complained but there's no plan to fix it.
  3. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    We're six on every page, inside and front.
  4. In Cold Blood

    In Cold Blood Member

    We use four. . . I've worked on five, six, and seven column sections in the past... seven was a joke, but four is too few IMHO... five seems a good wholesome number.
  5. chazp

    chazp Active Member

    We are the same. After last year and a new ME. We used to be five columns inside and front.
  6. Desk_dude

    Desk_dude Member

    Most Gannett papers used to be based on a seven-column grid. But because the newsprint width is narrowing, papers have reduced it to six.
  7. MonitorLizard

    MonitorLizard Member

    Five and a rail out front, six on inside pages except agate and our page 2, which has all kinds of stuff (skeds, lines, briefs, etc.) in varying layouts.
  8. Beef03

    Beef03 Active Member

    We're a tab paper based on eight column pages, but never in my life have I gone more than five across on a wide open page, and usually then I go four. I've seen eight once recently on a similar sized page and it was absolutely the ugliest, hardest to read page of my life. It was a weekly, I think, and it certainly wasn't helped by the fact that the writer wrote about four or five games in detail in the same story played by the same team over the course of a week – started with earliest worked through to the most timely, broken up with little subheads. By the end of it I think the story ran 1,500 - 2,000 words over two pages.
  9. Bob Slydell

    Bob Slydell Active Member

    There was a paper in IOwa that up until a few years ago had eight columns. The thing looked like a placemat.

    We're going to an even narrower web soon, so I'm not sure if we're going to have 5 or 6 columns.
  10. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    We do a rail and four columns on our subscriber front. The rest of the paper is a five column tabloid.

    Those four column layouts can be very limiting. Five column layouts give me more options.
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