News design is the procedure of arranging written content on a news page, in accordance with graphical and editorial guidelines and objectives. Main editorial objectives include the arrangement of newsworthy material in a way that aids the reader. News design aims at informing, not entertaining. It is an interactive medium where readers can take part in the reporting process through comments, questions and suggestions. Thus, it aims to provide information, and not simply a replication of information that has been published elsewhere.
The process of news design began at the start of the 20th century with the rise of the profession, in the United States. Arnold Toyne, a New York illustrator and designer, and William McKinley, a Harvard University professor, were among the first practitioners who contributed to the discipline. Today, a number of American newspapers employ a staff of news designers to prepare content for their online publications. News designers who work for major American newspapers have a variety of responsibilities.
News designers for newspapers often work as web designers as well. In this role, they are charged with creating layouts for websites and designing logos and the overall appearance of web pages. In addition, they may be responsible for coordinating the production of news pictures and video. News designers for magazines also often have a variety of responsibilities.
Newspapers today prefer web designs, which are easier to maintain and update on a regular basis. One reason for this shift is the fact that it is difficult to reprint the exact same information twice in the same week, especially when it is related to a hot topic. For example, if the front page of a New York Times article was about how Donald Trump’s business was suffering because of his relationship with Mexico’s government, the next day the front page featured a report about a seminar that Mr. Trump gave in Mexico City, which supposedly showed him how to deal with tough economic competition. Two weeks later, however, the news reported that Mr. Trump had successfully renegotiated a deal with the Mexican government to build a wall on the border. This caused an enormous spike in business activity as citizens from both countries flocked to visit the United States.
The emergence of websites like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal has led to the appearance of news design firms in other American cities, such as Chicago and Houston. In these cities, news designers are now responsible for the design of the city’s website, as well as ensuring that the website content conforms to local content guidelines. In some cases, newspapers will assign individual freelance designers to create the layout for the entire website. News organizations are not completely satisfied with the output of these freelance designers, and often they attempt to outsource more work to a company that specializes in news design. Many news organizations have now begun using web design services in order to increase their ability to attract a diverse reader base and to increase revenue. Although this type of service is typically used by larger news organizations, smaller newspapers are now beginning to see the benefits of hiring a web design firm.
There is no doubt that the principles behind news design are the same regardless of the size of a newspaper or what type of publication you own. As the Internet continues to grow, newspapers must also develop their web design departments to keep up with the competition. Many newspapers feel that their web design isn’t as advanced as competitors, but this is changing rapidly as web design companies begin to provide quality web services. The next time that you pick up a newspaper, pay special attention to the design of the front page, because it could very well be the most important feature.