News design is an artistic process of arranging written content on a newspaper page according to visual and editorial guidelines and objectives. Main editorial goals typically include the placement of news articles by category, with news sections often following a specific format of shape, size, and font. Visual considerations involve balanced and unobtrusive incorporation of imagery, while logical goals of organization often include the most effective arrangement of story elements for the reader. While these goals can vary according to specific requirements, most news organizations seek to maintain a uniform number of layout formats and clear readable format to attract readers and increase reader participation and reaction.
A common mistake in many newspapers and magazines is an over-reliance on simple and clear format layouts that are often perceived as “unattractive.” This can be remedied through the incorporation of several design elements, including graphics, headlines, subheadings, and underlined text. In a highly competitive marketplace, clear layout contributes to both reader awareness and increased revenue. For this reason, graphic design is an important element of news design. Graphic designs that accurately depict the content of the newspaper page are an important component of making news read more quickly and clearly.
Another principle of successful news design involves the consideration of color. Unlike the past, newspapers and magazines are now more likely to display color ads and other types of media on the bottom and side of each page. Unlike advertisements in magazines and books, however, these color additions in newspapers and magazines should not be distracting to the primary content. Instead, they should enhance the appearance of the print and present a more stylish appearance to readers.
A third principal that applies to all successful newspapers and magazines is the recognition of reader intent. After all, unlike advertisements or book cover designs, newspapers and magazines are read by people who are interested in the current news or the information that is being presented. Therefore, the design of the front page of the paper is critical to ensuring that readers are able to understand the most significant story. One way to accomplish this is by developing a layout that is easy to navigate and that offers the most relevant information to the readers at one glance. In Edmund Berry’s famous article “How to Make a Page,” he described his approach to designing the front page of the paper, and his choice of key fonts and his use of simple, yet elegant design patterns.
Much of the success of news design depends upon the designers expertise and style. In fact, it was Edmund Arnolds first experience as a newspaper designer that led him to develop a particular style that has become synonymous with the profession. Known as the ” Arnolds method “- after the initials of its designer- this particular style emphasized visual clarity while maintaining an easy to understand layout. This principal combination became the basis for the designs that were adopted by virtually all American newspapers and magazines for decades.
Newspapers and magazines today have access to a much greater range of information than they had even just twenty years ago. Technological progress, of course, has also played a large part in the development of modern newspaper and magazine layouts. The incorporation of the electronic media into the news design process has increased the ability of designers to display information on a much larger scale. New advances in digital image processing have dramatically changed the way that designers create news content. Many newspapers and magazines have gone to print on computer media in order to maximize their distribution and to reduce costs associated with producing the news. As the Internet becomes more widely available, the ability of newspapers and magazines to provide online news will only increase.