Looking at Layouts
The first front page I looked at, The Border Mail, an Australian newspaper, makes great use of a big picture to get the reader’s attention. The picture takes up more than half of the page. Also, instead of keeping the masthead separate from the picture, they superimposed it right into the top of the picture. I can see pros and cons to this decision. I think it makes the title of the paper stick out less how it is; however, this does allow them to maximize the space for the picture. The caption for the picture is also superimposed onto the picture. It is mostly white, but they decide to add a splash of yellow to make the white both a little less boring and also a bit more eye-catching than plain white. Right bellow this huge picture is a banner headline all in black. The thing about it that jars slightly is its disparity with the picture above it. The headline proclaims, “OFF THE ROAD.” The font size is very large and all in capital letters. While it is impossible to make everything on the front page of the paper coordinate, the massive celebration above this article on new laws against drunk driving contrasts a bit too much in my opinion.
The second front page I examined was the Chicago Tribune’s. This front page is a good bit busier than The Border Mail’s. The masthead is separated from the articles, so it is easier to decipher it from the headlines. The largest picture, which dominates the page above the fold, is of the Bears and Seahawks’ game. The picture corresponds to an article immediately below it unlike the giant picture on The Border Mail. This picture is also given a very large headline; in fact, the headline takes up more room than the small amount of text on the game. They do provide a convenient headline right above the picture though with the teams’ names and their scores for quick reference. What was surprising to me was the fact that in the bottom right corner was a very large advertisement Sealy mattresses. One would think that advertisements could be shuffled off to an inside page, while the front page remains reserved for only news articles and pictures which relate to them. The weather report on this front page is also less ostentatious than in The Border Mail. In the Chicago Tribune, it is not in color and is very, very small and is located in the very bottom left hand corner. The Border Mail’s stretches across a little more than half of the bottom of the front page and is printed in alternating colors of yellow, blue, white, black, and gray, making it easier to spot.