News Design Basics for Newspaper Writers
News design is an artistic process of designing news content on a paper page, usually according to graphical and editorial guidelines and aims. Main editorial objectives include the arrangement of news content by category, with consideration to clarity, readability, and suitability for readers. Audience categories may include readership, specific media, or categories to identify demographic targets. graphical considerations consist of clear identification of key or target terms and objects, the accurate presentation of quantitative data and figures, and the effective use of visual images. While editorial objectives might vary considerably from company to company, news design often exhibits common characteristics of aesthetic production such as clarity and economy, a proximity to the newsworthy item, and a relationship with the reader. The news designer must use the appropriate media, color, and design aspects to maximize the effectiveness of the copy and to ensure its readership and reliability.
The visual element of a news print involves layout, format, and construction. There are three primary principles of web design used in news design to establish a point of interest in the text, to encourage commentary and interaction, and to maintain readability. The three primary principles of web design are clarity, interest, and reading gravity.
Clarity refers to the general appearance of the web page, including any graphics or pictures. This is an especially important consideration when creating newspaper pages that are designed for news presentation rather than informative purposes. Interest is also an important element of news design, especially when the design is intended to communicate information about a particular company or product. Reading gravity is an aspect of graphic design that relates to the arrangement and color of text on the newspaper page.
The principle of balance is related to the principle of readability. Balance is intended to make the text and other elements on the web page easy to read. This is not always as simple as it sounds. For instance, if two headlines are placed next to each other on the same page, the resulting layout may be confusing to the eye. A simple solution to this problem is to place a graphic on the left and a text on the right.
The placement of images is not only limited to the front page. Many newspapers place advertising images and text above the fold, which means that they appear below the fold of the article. This practice reduces the size of the page and can make it difficult for some readers to follow the story. Because many people enjoy browsing newspapers for quick news, newspapers often include hyperlinks within their news design. These hyperlinks allow the user to read more quickly or locate additional information about a subject.
Arnolds and Company was one of the first newspapers in the United States to use full color advertisements and bold, clear text in newspaper design. The bold lettering and bright colors of Arnold’s bold graphic helped to make it stand out from competing papers. Today, Arnold and Company has gone digital, but the news design team continues to use traditional bold black lettering and white text on the front page. With almost two billion pages being printed every day in the U.S., newspapers must find a way to attract and hold the attention of their readers. A designer’s ability to use various media will help accomplish this goal.