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When design outshines a story ... hate that.

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by MidwestSportsGuy, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. With shrinking sections, I think this is becoming more and more prevalent, and it's incredibly annoying.

    I'm curious as to whether anyone else is noticing this, and becoming frustrated? I'm talking about when you're compelled to pick up a newspaper based on an eye-catching front-page design, which looks like a hard-hitting, in-depth look at an interesting topic. However, when you get home to read said package, you find nothing more than a couple 12-inch charticles.

    Hate that.

    I buy one of my state's metro papers probably four times a week, including every Sunday. Often, I'll grab the local paper as well. Why, I don't know. Local paper has some very talented designers, as well as writers, but no space. They put together these elaborate covers, which makes you think there's going to be a great read on an important topic. But then you start reading and realize it's far from in-depth, and basically rehashes all the old info. with a couple short stories, graphs and breakouts.

    Makes me want to start flipping through papers in the aisle or at the checkout counter before actually buying.

    And I know stores love when folks do that.
     
  2. mb

    mb Active Member

    They should probably have shittier designs so you can save your money and not disappointed when you get home.
     
  3. crusoes

    crusoes Active Member

    I know that when I get calls from people on stories I've done, they never talk about the content. All they gush about is the photo placement and the fonts we used and the breakout boxes.
     
  4. I understand the frustration, but people love photos.

    They take in the design subconsciously. Of course they don't call in and compliment the font. But they might say something like, "That was a really nice write-up and photo!"
     
  5. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    Well, what the stores really hate is when you slip off the plastic wrapper and/or brown paper cover and start reading ...

    "Sorry, ma'am, but I only look at Playboy for the articles page design" :D
     
  6. fossywriter8

    fossywriter8 Active Member

    Hands-on learner?
    ;)
     
  7. Captain_Kirk

    Captain_Kirk Well-Known Member

    mb, with statements like that, you're clearly management material....
     
  8. TheMethod

    TheMethod Member

    This scenario is basically unheard of at my shop.

    Our reporting staff is basically operating as it has for the last 10 years, while the desk is so thin, if we get an actual design that isn't a cookie cutter, it's probably a special occasion. It's not their fault. It's just the way it is.
     
  9. J-School Blue

    J-School Blue Member

    Hell, as a reporter, I loved it. Sweet design jobs did nothing but give me better clips.

    As a reader, I only get "sucked in" to material I wouldn't otherwise probably read by art when it comes to magazines. At least, that's the only times I notice.
     
  10. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    So the solution to the problem is to make the design shittier, rather than the story better?

    Why should a designer's ability to do good work be limited by a reporter's inability to do a decent story?
     
  11. farmerjerome

    farmerjerome Active Member

    I'm for anything that sells more product, and I'm a sucker for a slick design too. If it makes more people buy the paper for my story, I'm happy.
     
  12. mb

    mb Active Member

    or not very good with sarcasm
     
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