From the Desk of Rachel Bevels
Design Editor, The News Daily
I have a few suggestions to run by you. In considering the layout of the paper, I concluded that infographics would brighten the page and add visual depth to the news. I believe an infographic could give the reader the gist of the story quickly and entice them to read the rest. Infographics also highlight main stories, allowing the reader to see clearly which stories are most important. Infographics would also open up the possibility of running a series (3 days or so) on a developing story. I think this visual component would allow for variety and could even disrupt the modular layout of the page without causing confusion or chaos. I think it could be good for our loyal readers who see the same paper design day after day.
In addition to infographics, I want to suggest adding typography over the photos. I believe this would eliminate dead space in the pictures and allow us to add energy to the paper. The typography is one of the most important aspects of the front page, and I think doing something visually arresting could really pay off. The picture and typography could build off one another, making each of them stand out more than otherwise and, again, it would emphasize the importance of a story. Also, it eliminates confusion about which story the pictures belong to. Finally, the space we save by imposing letters on images would allow us to add more news to the front page or add white space for a less cluttered look. It opens up a world of design opportunities.
I also advise that some stories be boxed, as they define boundaries for the reader and eliminate confusion. They make the paper look more organized with clean-cut lines and definition. Boxed stories could also indicate importance, as only special stories are usually set off in boxes. They also free up space, because two stories can butt against one another without being mistaken as one story. Pictures can then be positioned in more ways, because the box prevents the picture from being confused with another story. Boxes also allow for background colors, which would brighten the page and further emphasize importance/boundaries. With a wide audience, we need to incorporate a wide range of designs to appeal to the most people. With so many dailies in circulation, we need to offer something atypical, something more innovative to keep our readers coming back.
I hope you will consider these design suggestions. I know they would enhance the page. I have included examples of papers that I feel employed these tactics successfully.