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How do you design good pages if you don't have any photos?

When is it OK to run screens behind a story? Or is a white background always best?

Is there software that can make charts and graphs?

What are the
best grids for newspapers to use?

How many stories should run on a typical front page?

Should you use rules to separate stories?

Is it OK to use grip-and-grin photos in the paper?

What’s wrong with using pretty stand-alone photos as lead art on Page One?

Is it true what our photo editor says — that running type on photos and cutting photos out damages their integrity?

Is it wrong to use decorative fonts to create feature headlines?

Should front-page promos run down the left edge of the page, or along the bottom?

Is it possible to design good pages without big, dominant photos?

You don’t need to be a cartographer. You don’t need special software.
And you don’t need to violate copyright laws to produce an accurate

If you need maps of countries and states, you can find an impressive
variety of styles in most clip-art collections (like the example here,
from the Art Explosion CD). Once you buy the collection — or
subscribe to an online clip-art service — those maps are yours to
print or modify.

But remember: You cannot simply scan and reprint someone else’s map without their permission.

For one thing, map details don’t copy well — they’ll probably look messy and fuzzy. But more importantly, most professional maps are copyrighted, and copying is stealing. Use them only as references to guide you in creating your own.

This applies to online maps, as well. You cannot simply grab a screenshot and republish it. (Even adding a credit line doesn't make the theft justified. Sorry.)

But you can use online maps as a guide for redrawing your own maps. And better yet — for online stories, anyway — Google allows you customize their maps to add layers of new information with journalistic value, then share the results with your readers. (For more details, tour the My Maps options at maps.google.com).


To learn the basic steps involved in making a map like this one, click here.
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