Introto page design April 4, 2013
Why layout? Layout and page design are used to: - Make information accessible - Attract readers’ attention - Encourage deeper understanding of content
Page design Strong page design uses text, visuals and white space to increase the readability of content and lead readers to key information. Design also reflects editorial decisions… - What content is given priority - How information is presented - Angle, tone and bias - Business/Profit considerations
Page design: Basics Balance: Visual equilibrium. The term used to describe a page that evenly (or comfortably) distributes text, visual elements and white space across the page. A page can be arranged symmetrically or asymmetrically and feel balanced. Unbalanced pages have content that is clustered in one part of the page, making it appear lopsided.
Page design: Basics White space: Blank area(s) on a page. When used effectively, white space makes content more appealing to readers by presenting information in an accessible way. Breaks up monotony of text. Too much white space will make your page appear unfinished or sloppy. Trapped white space: Unused space on a page that is fenced between elements on the page. A telltale sign of poor planning and design. To avoid this design flaw, make sure all white space has a pathway by which to “run off” the page.
Page design: Basics Dominant photo: The single visual element which anchors your page. Between 2-3 times as large as other photos (or graphics) on the page. Can be vertical or horizontal…. Secondary photo: Preferably the opposite shape of your dominant.
Page design: Basics Without images, pages look grey.
Page design: Measuring Pica: A unit of measurement used in page design, equal to 1/6th of an inch. Point: A unit of measurement used to measure type. 12 points = one pica.
Page design: Rule Rule: A line used to separate elements on a single page. Includes vertical rules and downrules. Width of line is measured in points. “Hairline” (.25 point) is the smallest width.
Page design: Margins Gutter: The unusable space between two facing pages of a magazine or spread. Alleys: The thin strips of white space between columns of text and other elements on a page. Commonly called margins. Traditional page design uses margins and gutters of the same width to separate elements. Margins that vary in size are distracting to readers and look sloppy.
Page design Pagination: The layout/production process of organizing content across multiple pages. Word wrapping: Many word processing and layout programs automatically break lines of text in between words or after punctuation. Exceptions: When a word is too long to fit on a single column line, or if the point size and justification is such that spacing letters apart or squishing them together would be conspicuous. Automated pagination: When text content is too large to fit on one page, so that it automatically extends onto another page. Most programs allow users to override these automatic settings.
Page design: A1 Two basic newspaper formats: broadsheet and tabloid. B !!!
Page design: A1 Tabloid: Showcases just one or two stories. Attention getting. Broadsheet: Presents variety of content. More traditional.
Page design: A1 Use headlines, images and teasers/refers to entice readers and buyers. On front page and inside, most stories and images start or end along page columns of even widths. Five is the norm for broadsheet. Trend: Breaking columns on the front page with one or two stories. Normally reserved for feature, non-traditional and prominent stories. Contains several fixed elements, present on every front page, in addition to editorial content.
Page design: A1 Nameplate: The text (or, sometimes, text and logo) used on the cover of a publication or first page of a newspaper. Nameplates are rarely changed. They are unique to the publication, central to its identity. Very readable.
Page design: Text Typeface vs. Font: Typeface is the term used to identify a specific set of designed letters and numerals. A character set that are similarly designed. Font is the physical embodiment or display of the typeface used. For better or worse, these terms are often are used interchangeably today. Sans-serif - Often used to grab attention (bold) - Good for headlines and cutlines (captions) - Helvetica, Tahoma, Arial Serif - Almost always used for body copy - Also used in headlines - Thought to be more readable - Times New Roman, Book Antiqua
Page design: Text • Weight: The boldness of a typeface. The thicker the lines of the characters, the greater the weight. • This is Helvetica. • This is Helvetica Bold. • This is Helvetica Light.
Page design: Text Leading: The spacing in between lines of text.
Page design: Text Kearning: The spacing between specific letters of text, such as KO and Aw. Built in to many commonly used design and word processing programs. Tracking: The spacing between words and groups of letters. Often used in body copy and headlines to make content fit into or fill a designated space. - Increasing tracking will create more space room between words, resulting in an open and airy feel. - Decreasing tracking tightens spacing between letters. - Changes in tracking must not result in letters touching each other. - Be selective when adjusting tracking. General rule of thumb is to adjust no more than +25 or -25.
Page design: Text Body copy: The “meat” of a newspaper page – the primary text of the publication. Should be easy to read. Serif.
Page design: Text Widows: A line of text that ends a paragraph but starts a page. Separated from the rest of the paragraph. Orphans: The first and only line of a paragraph that appears at the bottom of the page, or a word that ends a paragraph but sits on its own line. Both distract readers and make page look poorly designed and imbalanced. They create too much white space. Loremipsum dolor sit amet, consectetueradipiscingelit. Aeneancommodo ligula eget.
Page design: Text Byline: Identifies the author or producer of the content, often the individual’s title, position or contact information. Formatted in a way that easily distinguishes it from other text.
Page design: Text “Drop Caps”: Short for “dropped capital,” and also known as “initial caps.” First letter of paragraph – typically used only at the start of an article or beginning of large section of text – is formatted to drop below the line of text. Used to start a paragraph or story in a dramatic, attention-grabbing way. Primarily used with feature stories.
Page design: Text Pull quotes: Attributed, direct quote given emphasis in design through “pulling” out the comment and repeating it in a prominent location on the page, in the related body copy. Pull quotes must include the name and title of the speaker.
Page design: Text • Alignment: The placement and relation of text with respect to other elements. • Most headlines are flush left on the page, above relevant content. Point size and other factors are adjusted so text almost fills (appear to be justified) space with relevant content. • Newspaper and a lot of magazine body copy is justified – formatted so that each line of text starts and ends with the column or text box.
Page design: Text Changes in alignment are occasionally used to call attention to or differentiate one element from the rest.
Page design: Text • Alignment: The placement and relation of text with respect to other elements. • Newspaper and a lot of magazine body copy is justified – formatted so that each line of text starts and ends with the column or text box. • Most headlines are flush left on the page, above relevant content. Point size and other factors are adjusted so text almost fills (appear to be justified) space with relevant content. • Photo credits usually are flush right, under the relevant photo, above the caption. Credit includes the photographer’s name and affiliation. • Captions are flush left, underneath the photo. All photos have captions.
Page design: Text General rules: - Be consistent. Use the same font for all similar content – such as bylines and body copy – on a page (and within a publication). - Be distinct. Use different fonts and formatting techniques to distinguish different types of content.
Page design: Text General rules: - Be consistent. Use the same font for all similar content – such as bylines and body copy – on a page (and within a publication). - Be distinct. Use different fonts and formatting techniques to distinguish different types of content. - Refrain from using typefaces that look similar. - Fonts that look cool but are hard to read should not be considered cool. One example is Braggadocio. - Try to limit the number of typefaces on a single page to just a handful.
Page design: Headlines Used to entice readers to pay attention to the content and communicate the most significant elements of the copy, graphic or photo in short form. The entry point into content. • Headlines (headings): Sections of text used to identify specific elements of a publication - a story or a graphic, for example. Set apart from other elements because they are in larger type. • Subheads: Like headlines, they are used to identify specific elements of a publication. Can provide more information beneath the headline at the top of the story, or may be used within an article or section to break up large blocks of text.
Page design: Headlines Regardless of what kind of headline is used, it must be of large enough point size so that readers easily can differentiate between it, body copy and other text content on the page. - Headlines should be at least twice the point size of body copy. - Use headlines of different point sizes on a single page. - Headers should not be placed over unrelated content.
Page design: Headlines Banners: Headlines that run across all columns of a news page. Commonly used to draw attention to the most important story on a page.
Page design: Headlines Hammer: An oversized headline used to call attention to a significant article or package. As the name implies, hammers are blunt instruments. Usually only a couple of words.
Page design: Headlines Wicket: Two or more lines of small/subhead text, followed by headline. (Essentially the opposite of a hammer.)
Page design: Headlines Commas are used in place of “and” to save space. Infinitives (“to debate”) are used to concisely identify things that will happen in the future.
Page design: Headlines Keep phrases and terms, including prepositional phrases and adjective-noun couplings, connected across lines. Single quotes used to convey direct quotes. Subject-colon pairing to convey a subject’s perspective or claim.
Page design: Headlines Creative headlines work best with feature stories and content that is … less than serious …
Page design: Headlines Upstyle: Each word of a headline is capitalized. Generally considered outdated. Downstyle: Only the first word (and proper nouns) is capitalized. Most publications use the downstyle. Please do the same.
Page design: Headlines Tripod: Uses three elements – one large, often bolded word or phrase – next to two lines of headline text next to it. Difficult to execute successfully. Generally, low readability and takes up a lot of space. EXAMPLE I had to create this example because I could not find any when I looked at the paper
Page design: Headlines Deck: Longer, explanatory elements used in conjunction with headlines. Not to be confused with subheads. Decks are often full sentences that preview the analysis in the following article. Often used for long form or explanatory pieces.
Page design: Visual elements Thoughtful design connects a page’s dominant image with text. There are several ways to do this: - Photo placed between the headline and the body copy
Page design: Visual elements Strong layouts connect a page’s dominant image with text. There are several ways to do this: - Photo placed between the headline and the body copy - Photo runs to the side of body copy, but under the relevant headline
Page design: Visual elements Strong layouts connect a page’s dominant image with text. There are several ways to do this: - Photo placed between the headline and the body copy - Photo runs to the side of body copy, but under the relevant headline - Photo is nestled within L-shaped body copy