News design is the creative process of arranging content on a paper page, usually according to graphical and editorial guidelines and objectives. The aim of news design is to inform and influence readers, rather than to sell or advertise. Important editorial considerations involve the arrangement of news events by category, with special reference to major breaking stories, the integration of advertising, and the balanced, uncluttered presentation of the information and other material. Many newspapers, both national and international, have established professional news departments, whose function is to prepare and manage the design of news content for news delivery purposes.
There are many other publications, including magazines, which use graphic design in news design. This is because the style of a magazine can be dictated by its target audience. A design that is inappropriate for children’s publications may not be suitable for women’s magazines. While most newspapers and magazines use some type of graphic design, their news design is typically more stylized and less directed towards specific readership.
News designers are often creative professionals, although there are also a number of specialist newspapers and magazines that employ only an in-house news design team. In these cases, the designers are responsible for developing the layout of the main page or the main flap, as well as the other pages that appear on the front page. Specialized skills are required in this area, and most newspapers prefer to employ specialists who have previous experience in the design field. News designers of other types of publications are also employed on a part-time basis in local newspapers and magazines, as well as freelance websites. Web design usually requires at least a Bachelor’s degree in computer science, with additional training or work experience.
Another principal in news design is clarity. Clarity refers to the fact that the text is readable and understood, and the information presented is organized so that it is easy to understand. This principle is often considered the more important of the three, although many newspapers and magazines choose to present both reading content and informative content in the same newspaper or magazine. The news design professional must ensure that all images are legible, and are not printed in a careless or amateurish manner. Poor color contrast can also make the text difficult to read.
When it comes to newspapers, magazines and web design, consistency is also important. It is common for one magazine cover to be used in different pages, and the same applies to newspaper clippings and wire stories. All aspects of the design and publication should be consistent in order to create a sense of uniformity among readers. Most designers choose to have a basic design style that they then add to specific design elements. Some designers work solely in the copy department, preparing articles and memos to be used by upper management and staff.
The third principle, the reading gravity, refers to the general concept that a story is more interesting if it is easier to understand. The first reading level requires that a reader learn about the content before being interested in the story. A second reading level makes it possible to learn more about the subject and become more deeply knowledgeable about it. The fourth principle, focused reading, makes it possible for a reader to grasp the most important points, while the fifth reading level makes it possible to obtain additional information through reviews of related articles or blog posts.