Critique #1: Boston Globe’s Super Bowl preview
In general, I respond really well to this special-section front (a Super Bowl preview from The Boston Globe). What initially drew me to the page is the bold use of a bold color and the dramatic superimposition of photos of QBs Tom Brady and Joe Montana. Both features give the front a very magazine-y look. Additionally, I think the cutouts do a great job of conveying meaning (the cover story is about Brady following in the footsteps of Montana, his hall-of-famer childhood idol). The chart and dek are also very informative, even at a glance. (I also really like the quiet teasers at the bottom of the page. They don’t detract from the overall display, but still draw sufficient attention to themselves with bold font and significant white space.)
There are, however, several elements I find rather confusing. I am, admittedly, not the world’s most informed football fan. I haven’t followed the careers of either of these players. But I like the game, and this sounds like a story I might like to read. “Standing room only” is meaningless to me, the lay reader, in this context. I even took a few moments to Google it’s origins (something most probably would not do), and came up with nothing. Additionally, the four white blobs above the display text have little meaning to me upon first, second and third glance. It’s only after fairly careful inspection of the page that I notice the tiny Super Bowl trophy in the upper lefthand corner that I understand the blobs to be silouhettes. It takes significantly more work than I think the average reader would put in, and therefore I’m not sure it’s all that effective.
All in all, I think this is a highly engaging page. But I think it could be a bit more effective if the designer had paid more attention to a more general readership.