1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Learning page design

Discussion in 'Design Discussion' started by MNgremlin, Jun 15, 2015.

  1. MNgremlin

    MNgremlin Active Member

    For those who don't run separate agate pages, have you ever run box scores as a wraparound? Thinking specifically MLB box scores, here.
  2. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    My gut instinct: Don't get too creative with those. You can make room for them in two columns of a baseball page.
  3. HandsomeHarley

    HandsomeHarley Well-Known Member

    I run my Scoreboard on my jump page. It's just the way we're set up (my jump page is the slop page, just before Classifieds).

    If I have three pages, and a huge Scoreboard, I will run it on my page 2.

    Scoreboards don't have to be huge. If space allows, I run all the major sports standings and scores (MLB, NBA, WNBA, NFL, Arena, MLS, NWSL), along with the local and regional college standings and scores for BB/SB/VB/FB/BKB, and my area prep standings for the same. If I'm crunched for space, I begin lopping off standings.

    That said, I'm at a small daily in a smallish community, so local, local, local. My coverage is city HS and city community college 1A and 1B; area high schools 2; regional colleges 3; regional pro sports 4; national sports 5.
  4. MNgremlin

    MNgremlin Active Member

    Sorry, I should've said "don't run a separate scoreboard page," maybe that would've applied better. We don't get a full section (max 4 or 5 pages, 2 or 3 most summer days). We usually run the local box and MLB standings somewhere around where the story is placed. I'm just seeing if there's a different/better way.
  5. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    The way we do our MLB boxes is a little different for the non-local games, but one way to keep it from breaking over legs is to run a scoreline on the top and treat it as a separate element. Then you can run it at the top of one of the legs of type, with a hairline rule under it or box it to separate it.
  6. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    top third of the page, standings, game of the day, notes, local minor league team, etc.

    second third, 8 boxes with 1 to 4 graf summary of the game, with box depth at 7 inches total on an 8 over 6 page

    repeat for bottom third.

    Cut the summary to make the box fit You might have to play around to figure out the length of the summary but the beauty of baseball is that the games are remarkably consistent in terms of how much space they eat up in print.
  7. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    It's a good template. And you can move with the news with that game of the day at the top.
  8. MNgremlin

    MNgremlin Active Member

    Only one MLB team, no minor league team.

    We are a small paper, and many times only have two or three pages total to work with. Dedicating an entire page to MLB many times isn't worth it. We try to get standings in and the local box score, but those are usually only in agate font.
  9. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    Okay. Depending on your ad stack:

    If you typically have a free full column. Gamer, then box, then standings. Cut the gamer to fit.

    If you don't, then design the box and standings as a two column element, say five inches deep, and run the gamer beside it with the copy dog legging over the ad stack if need be.

    The most important thing is to be consistent with your approach. Always put baseball in the same spot on the same page. Every day. That's really true for all the standing elements, daily items.
  10. JRoyal

    JRoyal Well-Known Member

    OK a few things:

    1) The rule about not facing off the page, don't live by it. I break that all the time. If the page looks better with the guy looking off it, so be it. Don't do something stupid to avoid it just because you've been told to.

    2) NEVER wrap boxes or game summaries over 2 columns unless it's part of a larger agate package. If it's pulled separate with a story, make the layout work with it. We have "standard" shapes for our college basketball boxes and minor league baseball box that are a little deeper than a lot of games need, and we use those to set our depth. Gives a good starting point, and if it ends up short, you get a few more lines of story or you just justify the shape. In fact, the only agate that should wrap over more than 1 column is a tournament schedule or tournament results or a wrestling dual summary or something like that, and even with those, unless it's a big file, try to keep from wrapping it. In most cases, if you're wrapping other agate that's with a story over multiple columns, you're doing it wrong.

    3) Like everyone has said, get to know the program. If you want to go from being a paginator to a designer (and no offense, but most people at most shops just paginate; there is little time in most modern newsrooms for design), then you need to learn Photoshop as well, at a bare minimum. Illustrator helps, too.

    4) When you start doing pages, learn what you know how to do and live in that zone, stretching out a little at a time. Don't try something crazy without a backup plan. See a cool cover from Omaha or Cleveland that has lots of cool effects and different type treatments? Don't try it. That's not your zone right now. The worst thing young and inexperienced designers do is try to do cool things with different fonts and typography when they don't have a feel for it yet. I did it myself. Too many times. Learn what you do well, and then expand your tool set from there.

    5) How do you expand that tool set? A few ways:
    -- Find someone at your paper who can look at your stuff and give you guidance before it goes to print and let you play with it. When I started at my current stop, I thought I was pretty good, but I knew there were a lot of folks better than me. Let them see your stuff, esp. the stuff you think is good. Because odds are either (1) it's not as good as you think it is (I speak from my own experience there) or (2) they can offer little tips that will help it reach the next level. So figure out who the best designer is at your shop and see if they'd be willing to help you learn.
    -- Ask that person to critique you every week or so. Gather your pages and let them tear them apart. If they aren't ripping them to pieces, find someone else. You don't want someone who sugarcoats things and makes you feel good. You want someone who will rip your best page apart and make you see what it could have been. (The same can be said of writing; find an editor who will tell you just how bad that awesome story you wrote is; you'll thank them for it later.)
    -- Learn from what other people are doing. Check out magazines -- I learned most of my typography skills from different magazines, which do type far better than a lot of newspapers. Go to newspagedesigner.com and check out the portfolios there. And don't limit yourself to looking at Sports pages. Check out the news and features pages, too. You may find something -- a way a photo is played, typography on a headline, etc. -- that you want to use.
    -- Don't steal designs. That's visual plagiarism. But don't be afraid to be inspired by them.
  11. JRoyal

    JRoyal Well-Known Member

    Not necessarily. I work as a design editor right now, and there are times (too many at some points) that I have no choice but to go in and rebuild a page without sending it back to the designer. Sometimes it's built on Thursday for Sunday's paper, and the designer is off Friday. Sometimes when I'm in at night and the other designer is swamped late or is simply inexperienced and we're against deadline, I do it because I can do it quicker and easier. If it's a big enough of an issue, I discuss it with them later. But not always.

    Yes, ideally, I like to have the designers re-work the pages themselves. But you don't always have that luxury.

    And just because a page is redone doesn't mean you can't still learn from it. Ask the supervisor why he made the changes he did; not indignantly, just approaching it as someone who wants to learn how to make his own pages better. And take apart the page he did compared to what you had set up. What's different? Do you know why? If not, ask. When I first started at the Tulsa World, I worked the sports desk with a great designer. Because of a couple of things that happened, I ended up getting to do the cover to our high school football preview after less than two months on the job. I was so proud of what I had done with that. I turned it over to our lead designer and sports editor beaming. And the next day when I looked at it, it was heavily changed. Still had the bones I had built for it, but there were a lot of differences, all for the better. Ideally, I would have liked to been told what to do so I could do it. But in this case, I looked at the two versions, saw what the lead designer had done and how it improved the page and learned from it. After I cursed his name for a couple of hours, of course. ;)
    jr/shotglass likes this.
  12. JRoyal

    JRoyal Well-Known Member

    And, dear God, do not feel that the headline for a package on an inside section front has to be above the fold. I hate that rule. If it works, fine. If it's a big enough of a game, fine. But there are plenty of times, at least half the time if not more, it would be fine having the headline to you package run under the story. Yes, there needs to be a headline up there, but don't put the headline above horizontal art separating it from the subhead and story just because that's how A1 does it. Do what looks good.

    That said, if the headline is going below the fold, it helps to have at least a kicker above the main art if the headline is going below it.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page