Have a question
for the design
doctor? Got
a squabble
you need to
settle? Send
in a question
by clicking here.

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?

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?

What's the best way to make a map?

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?

For centuries, newspapers used column rules (vertical lines) and cutoff rules (horizontal lines) to separate stories. Back in the ’60s and ’70s, rule-less gutters became popular, but nowadays rules are back. And most of the best-designed papers use them.

Advantages: Rules organize stories and pages into neat stacks. They even let you get away with butting headlines and colliding art elements, up to a point (see below).

Disadvantages: When drawn down the middle of a narrow gutter, rules can crowd the text beside it. And if you widen the gutter to alleviate the crowding, sliding stories slightly sideways, your page grid can look wonky and unaligned. Rules work best with wider gutters.

Tip: Horizontal cutoff rules can be thin, thick — even screened or fancied up a bit, depending on your paper’s style. But it’s usually best to keep standard vertical column rules as thin and unobtrusive as you possibly can.

timharrower.com logo
INSIDE REPORTING
handbook
biography
design doctor
other stuff
the edge
contact us
back to home page
workshops