I Like Me Some Color!

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 We were asked to look at different newspaper covers.  I picked four, and talked about what I thought worked and what didn’t.

1)      The front page from the West Hawaii Today was fantastic and bad at the same time.  I think the bottom half of the front, or “below the fold” as Dr. Jerz told us during probably the first week of school, is the great part.  I especially like the whale hopping out of the picture and into the newspaper print.  However, I do not think the story and picture “‘Onday’ Leaves More Than 100 Dead, Missing” belongs above the masthead.  I think this looks extremely tacky.  It takes everything the editors did to make the whale picture so awesome and negates it.

2)      Daily News “New York’s number one newspaper” does have a nice photo on the front with a LOT of color, which of course immediately catches the eye.  You can see all of the little champagne droplets spraying all over Derek Jeter.  It's a magical photo.  One of those ones that only comes along every so often.  Notice how the weather is still present in the upper left-hand corner.

3)      Daily News from Los Angeles (original name huh?) is quite nice.  I like how the editors Photoshopped President Obama’s face into the picture.  This all worked nicely with the whole “Operation Health Care” directly above it.  This is a great way to take a picture that would not normally have a visual and give it one.  It is also interesting how the picture does not have a clearly defined bottom; instead it fades into the article itself.  The pictures on the bottom of the page are just ok though, leaving the visual appeal entirely up to the picture above.

4)      Duluth News Tribune’s page made me laugh a little.  The pictures are great, all of them.  The thing that I found so funny is the fact that the way the pictures are laid out looks like Mickey Mouse’s head.  You have the ears (the two sports pictures), the face (the picture of the inside of the house), and the tongue (the family posing in their newly renovated home).  I usually like when things are symmetrical, but this time I don't think it works.

So what did all of these front pages have in common?  The answer is bits of texts, but not too much.  The story isn’t what is important.  Yes, it’s what the people will read but if you walk by a newspaper vender selling two papers (and you have no personal preference as to which one you will read), it is human nature to go for the one that is more aesthetically appeasing.  The stories are secondary on the front page.  Also, I thought that the newspapers that had the Masthead near the very top or somehow integrated into the picture (2) worked better.  It looked tacky the further down the masthead got.  The most important thing is COLOR!

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4 Comments

Derek Tickle said:

Okay, so it seemed like your enjoyed the newspapers that you read. I think that the most important point that you are trying to conclude is that a newspaper needs to have a selling point to it. The stories need to be clear and to the point, but the pictures and layout need to be appealing to the people, as you mentioned. I was amazed at how much color the papers had compared to what I am used to seeing around town. Very detail of the papers!

Derek Tickle said:

Your article made me think so much that I wrote my reflection on it about The News and Color

Jessie Krehlik said:

I had a lot of similar observations on my blog as well. But, I don't really agree with you about the West Hawaii Today paper. Although I did like the whale cutout on the cover, I thought the front page was REALLY cluttered. All of the color was actually distracting for me. I thought the different font types were distracting as well. The page had a lot of potential, but I feel like the editors didn't deliver.

Josie Rush said:

I do think that the different fonts may be distracting, but maybe the differences will actually catch a potential reader's eye, and not scare them away. Not being a newspaper reader myself, I can only assume here: Maybe the public won't stagger off holding their heads in confusion when they see different fonts?
Sarcasm aside, I do see where this many differences may turn some ppl away from the paper. I was with you, though, Angela, that front page was an attention-grabber.

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