Critiques

by eelisa314

I really enjoy this section from the Indiana Daily Student (Indiana University), which I stumbled across on Charles Apple’s blog. As an avid crossword puzzler, this clever, interactive design really appeals to me. What a diversionary treat for IU students during their last week of classes, and an excellent way to tease to an interview with IU grad and puzzle master Will Shortz. I’m not sure how many students would have heard of Shortz, but I think this design is an excellent way to draw readers in. The giant IU logo hidden in the puzzle’s center shows the level of thought that went into this project. I’m not an expert on the Hoosiers, but I imagine the same attention to detail can be found in the clues (hope the answers are right!).

Also shown here is the tease to the puzzle from the front page. The tie-in with the grid is very cute, but I wish they’d made it look even more like a crossword puzzle (ie. no random spaces, use of clue numbers). A lot of thought clearly went into this design, and I only wish they’d taken it all the way in both the actual design and the tease.

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For my second critique, I’ve chosen this sports front from the Chicago Tribune, also from Apple’s blog. This page is very different from most everything I’ve seen — especially with regards to the very vertical photo. I think it’s a very interesting choice, and I like it here, though since I’m not a regular reader of the Tribune, I’m not sure how often they do this and I could see it easily getting overplayed. But it’s a very dramatic treatment and an expressive photo for what was a very exciting day in MLB.

I also really respond to the use of type on top of the image (though I wonder how the page would have looked if they’d used a massive cut out instead). I think the photo is big and bold enough that the type doesn’t overpower it. The touches of red are also subtle and sparing enough not to distract from the image. I do find myself wishing the text at the top (near his face) were a bit more symmetrical and not cutting in as close. I think everything below his mitt is well sized and well placed.

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