News Design

J4500/7500 Advanced Editing and News Design – Spring 2012

Design Critique – Will G.

by willguldin

Sorry this is late, I was locked out of my wordpress account last night — couldn’t remember the password.

Critique 1: This is a page from the Boston Globe. I picked this one because I’m doing some research that involves the paper’s typography and how they mirror it online. I feel like this print issue does a lot of things that the Missourian could emulate. Even though this is a five-story front, it still has creative teases above the nameplate and a bar on the side that is similar to the Wall Street Journal’s “What’s News” sidebar.

This page might be a little cluttered, but it doesn’t seem like to me. I particularly like the teases above the banner. They look clean and tease to at least three stories there. This page also has good headline hierarchy, I think and the two panel photos of Obama and Romney.

Boston Globe Page

Critique 2: The other thing I wanted to highlight, because it’s just plain cool, is this thing the New York Times did called a visual graphic. It highlights Mariano Rivera’s dominance of batters during his career. Overall this is an excellent piece of work, and I’m curious how you’d even make something like this.

One thing I didn’t like about this was that the pitch motion seemed repetitive after a while. That might be part of the point of Rivera’s single-pitch technique, but it made me wonder if that was really accurate, once they showed the scatter shot of all his pitches. That’s minor though. Really this is just awesome.





Design Critique

by willguldin


This first page is one I found on the news designer site I noticed the woman from Gannett using. This page is from a Turkish newspaper Today’s Zaman. This appeared on as the cover for the Sunday Health section. Since we’re working on conceptual designs, I’ve been looking for examples. This one seems more creepy than anything else.

The article is about how your hair can act as a warning system for other health problems you might have, but I can’t see that reflected here at all. I’m not sure what a zipper is supposed to convey and the illustration just looks weird. Also, the shaded textbook above the thicker column of body copy draws attention to the woman’s eye, which has nothing to do with the story. Not very succesful in my book.

Cleveland Plain-Dealer

This next example works much better. The heart missing on notebook paper says so much to me. And although it works with the story, you don’t need to read the story to understand what it is saying, in fact both tell something a little bit different.

The design of the piece also complements this conceptual picture. Serif typefaces, a magazine-type lead and a good use of white space give it a refinement and solemnity that reinforce the simple look of the photo illustration. If I had to critique it, I’d say that some extra room might’ve suited this better. Why not knock out that column next to it and make the main article take up the whole page?

Sorry for the weird spacing, not sure what is up with word press

Island Packet and Klamath Falls critiques

by willguldin

Island Packet, Hilton Head, South Carolina

Overall, I think the dominant story is effective because it packages quite a bit of information on the front page for the reader. So much information in fact, that I think it could all use some sort of secondary deck to tie it together and give me a “so what” statement.

Although it looks nice together, more standard column widths would give it some more unity. Right now, we have the really wide lead-in column, then a standard text column, and, finally, the skinny sidebar column. Makes it seem separate. Other nit-picky things that detract from the whole page: the super-sized dropcap, the tiny part of the art head and the really long caption on the boring meeting photo.

The rest of the page is pretty good. I was a little confused about which story that infobox belonged to on the bottom left since there is no vertical rule (weird because they have horizontal rules on the page and vertical rules in the floorboard). But that aside, these other stories easily communicate with the reader. There aren’t any major hierarchy issues either — it is clear what is the big news and the big feature-type story.

Herald and News, Klamath Falls, Oregon

This was one of the Newseum’s top pages for the day I grabbed it. I really like the way it looks and the take the paper took on the Super Bowl was perfect for them. After all, they’re in Oregon, so creating a “semi-fan’s” guide is both useful and a funny take on the whole ordeal.

First impressions were that the design looks clean, but I’m a little confused about the subject of the main article. The subhead says two things, and one of them is highlighted in red and positioned over the story. So is that the article’s focus? If both parts of the subhead make up the article, why was the red color used? I also thought the shaded box was part of this package, even though it isn’t. It looks better without a rule there, but I wonder if one is needed to make a clear contrast with the Super Bowl content.

Other than that, this page is really effective. Lots of information communicated in a clean package.