10 Quick Design Fixes

So while attending a great informational about newspaper design, I found some great ideas to pull back to The Northerner. My speaker was Ron Johnson from Indiana University. The best advice given was really not be afraid of acknowledging your own mistakes, so that you can fix them.

The first subject touched on was content. Content is the most important part of the paper, content should do most of the work. Design should be a silent but successful part of the paper, meaning stealth ninja! Overall the content should work the design not vice versa.

Johnson touched on photography and how it’s important that when showing multiple photos on one page, that they all have different emotion, action, or perspective. Never run alike photos next to each other, we crave for variety!

The best way to grab the readers attention is to make a headline that will catch the readers eye, make things seem interesting, try not to over analyse it. Communication is so important and a reader only really reads 25% of the papers copy, so make that 25% worth it.

A new idea that most people shy away from is a page with a lot of copy. Never be afraid to show off a good story. Design is showing off the “cool shit”, so when it’s all copy its okay as long as it’s GOOD COPY.

Color is a fun thing but should never be overused. Everything should be purposeful. If the letters are blue, it better be because they need emphasis or they need to be that color, not because it just looks nice.

A new idea to me is learning to “package” a page. This is when you make a dominate idea/story on each page and nothing should ever be the same size (headlines or photos). Content should never look the same. I learned sometimes that you have to learn to break the landscape. Learn to use new angles, shapes, and concepts. Dont be afraid to try new things. A good idea to consider is making all pull-out quotes, chart types, ect. the same (in the library).

Know that overall the job of the designer is to bring together all content and be successful in directing the readers eye, the navigation aspect of the paper.