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Learning page design

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

  1. JRoyal

    JRoyal Well-Known Member

    This is sj.com. ANY thread can turn into a catfight.
  2. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    Fair enough. Didn't mean to attack you not knowing the situations, but it sounded like this was something that happens often for you. I stand by the statement that designers learn by doing it themselves, but yes, there are scenarios where it has to be redone without the designers input. In such cases, I would hope the designer would get a sitdown to explain what the problem was. And if stories are being left off or photos are being swapped out, that's just poor planning, which is not good for any designer. And I've designed many a crappy page in my time, especially in my first stop.
  3. MNgremlin

    MNgremlin Active Member

    Hey look, it's me again...

    So I took a big step recently in my page design education...I finally have Quark on my own machine. Before, I had to use a coworker's Mac if I wanted to practice. Fair to say it didn't happen often. Today, I put in about 3 hours, just re-familiarizing myself with the program. Also watched some tutorials on YouTube last night to help with that. Learned a bunch of tricks that I tried for myself today with mixed results.

    One thing I'm still struggling with is photos. Not so much the how, but the why. Especially with resolutions and re-sizing. Also, does that all have to be done in Photoshop before importing the picture into Quark?
  4. Gomer

    Gomer Active Member

    I'll say yes to that but with a huge caveat: My shop is so bad I'm still using Quark 4.1. Like, a program that's 20 years old. I literally do not know if modern versions of Quark deal with photos differently.

    I'll size every photo as I get it to the maximum size I think I'd use it - in most cases eight inches wide at 200 DPI. You can then quickly resize in the box in Quark by percentages. Just don't size the original too small and have to bump the percentage higher than 120 - it starts to look awful.

    Read through this thread now and astonished at how bad I have it. I lay out 3-4 pages a day completely on my own, plus I write, sometimes take photos, etc. And I do it all on computers and software similar to what I learned on in the late '90s in college.

    Some of you have design EDITORS? Good god.
  5. MNgremlin

    MNgremlin Active Member

    How do you set up your tabs to fit a MLB box in one column? Tonight I finally figured out that the EXPBox seems to fit better, but still can't quite get the tabs right.
  6. Gomer

    Gomer Active Member

    Depends on the column width. The right-align tab is your friend for the numbers, use left-align tab for names.

    Our bosses kept shrinking paper size. Used to have an eight-column scoreboard. Now six after the latest shrink. You make it work.
  7. SBR

    SBR Member

    Funny I was just explaining this to someone in my shop last night. As usual, the answer is "it depends." With high-quality images, yes. On older versions of Quark for sure.

    These days, most digital photos start off in a resolution of 72 DPI. At that resolution, the print size of a high-quality image might be something like 40 or 50 inches wide.

    If you try to load a 50-inch wide image into a Quark document, Quark thinks you want to print a 50-inch wide photo. And that's bad. It gives your computer a headache because Quark uses up tons of RAM trying to create and draw a 50-inch preview on your screen, and it's especially deadly on an older computer without gobs of RAM.

    Photoshop is much smarter, in that it will open your image at an acceptable viewing size without crashing your system. Then you go to image/image size and change the resolution to something like 200-350 dpi – that is the range most newspaper presses print at, so you don't need to go much higher.

    When you change your image size, make sure "re-sample image" is off. You should be able to see how the DPI change also changes the print size of the image. If you go from 72 to 300, your 50-inch image will now be 12-inches wide. You haven't actually changed the image itself, you're just changing how the file interacts with your applications.

    Save and import into Quark. Now Quark will see your image as 12 inches wide and it will be much happier.

    Now, OTOH. If you're working with small, low-quality images, (file size under ~1MB), like a logo, or a small graphic (or a crappy photo you stole off some Web site), it's not that big a deal. You can usually just import those directly and just re-size them in Quark.

    What do you have trouble fitting? I use the EXP boxes as well. We have 1.75" columns, I use a 6.5 pt typeface with -5 tracking and everything fits pretty easily.

    The only time I ever have trouble fitting something is when they put in stupid save/save op numbers for the closers. I just delete those.
  8. SBR

    SBR Member

    I remember it well: the days when men were men and you could only Undo one step.
  9. MNgremlin

    MNgremlin Active Member

    Ah, that'd be the problem then, most likely. Our columns are more like 1.5" with 1/6" gutters.
  10. LeesaJohnson

    LeesaJohnson New Member

    It depends on your creative ideas that how good you can design it.
  11. MNgremlin

    MNgremlin Active Member

    Hey look, it's me again. I'm still at the same shop over three years later, and have still been mostly learning design from afar (I'm still just a part-timer, so I'm not the first backup when the editor is out of town).

    However, I feel like I've taken some pretty good steps in 2018, partly due to the shop being understaffed (shocker, I know). We had the opportunity to send our editor for Super Bowl coverage, which left me as the sports guy in the office to get the pages finished and sent. That gave me some of my first real work with both the photo process and with sending off the pages.

    The other thing I've picked up along the way is working on the local shopper's special section that includes all of the sports/activities schedules. In the past, I would just type all of the schedules, but in the fall edition I essentially did everything from cover to cover.

    Fast forward to present, the past week in the office has been difficult because our editor has been out of town. This put an already understaffed sports department in more of a pinch. The full-timer has mostly handled pages since Thursday, but doesn't like doing pages and to be quite honest it somewhat shows in the final product. Otherwise it's the news editor, who couldn't even see that he spelled volleyball wrong in the main subhed on Page 1 when he did the sports pages one night. I'm stuck to the desk every night I work since I don't drive, so finally I stepped up and told the full-timer I could handle pages for a night. Usually similar suggestions have been brushed aside, but this time they took me up on my offer. So Tuesday night, I essentially did the sports section on my own. The full-timer had a few things on the pages when I showed up, but I had the freedom to move things as I saw fit. I thought I worked pretty efficiently too, getting everything set up in basically 2-3 hours (which included waiting for copy and photos).

    I'm really hopeful that I will be able to parlay some of these things into bigger opportunities at the office or somewhere else. I don't think my pages were award-winning by any means, but for my first real crack at it I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out. I forgot to email myself the PDFs, but I'll try to see if I can share my work here.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
  12. MNgremlin

    MNgremlin Active Member

    Be nice.....

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
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