News design is essentially the creative process of arranging content on a printed paper page, in accordance with graphical and editorial guidelines and objectives. Main goals of news design are the arrangement of news content in an attractive and reader-friendly manner. In addition, news design provides an opportunity for news organizations to update their readers on current affairs and breaking news. However, it can be hard to come up with interesting and original news content.
Newspapers and other periodicals employ graphic design in order to draw attention to specific features of a story or related items. The arrangement and placement of text and graphics on the newspaper page often contributes to the overall design concept. Most newspapers use a double-spacing system where one-spaced text runs along the left-hand side of the page and two-spaced text runs along the right side.
One of the most common uses for news design is as a component of the website. The design is applied to both the home page and to individual stories and articles. For example, news design for the New York Times website uses a style that involves drop shadows and gray scale in its application. This approach has a very distinctive look that sets it apart from other websites. Many newspapers have also created an in-house news design department that employs a number of different graphic design professionals.
Web sites, in contrast to newspapers, do not generally have a news design team. Instead, news designers at web sites create the basic layout, including most of the visual elements such as images and hyperlinks. Web designers who are hired by newspapers and other publications are often college students or young professionals who are passionate about the industry. Web design students often begin their work in college by participating in internship programs run by various publications. In addition to working on a daily basis with current news designers, these young professionals often take part in web design internships that give them the chance to experience the different aspects of the online media industry.
While newspapers often outsource their news design projects to freelance designers, the trend today is to contract these tasks to a company that specializes in web design. In contrast to news design, the primary goal of web site designers is to build web sites for businesses and organizations rather than individual consumers. For example, a business might require a website to promote a new product line. A web site designer will create this website in a style that is appropriate to the business. Web site designers can also specialize in particular areas, such as children’s web sites or government web sites. In addition, these specialized designers can often obtain higher compensation than freelance designers would.
Another principle behind news design and web design is related to the reading gravity. Most individuals spend a good portion of their day simply reading the newspaper or watching television. If a front page feature an interesting story, there is a good chance that the reader will read at least some of the story. For this reason, news designers often strive to make every published page interesting for the reader.