Design Links for young journos

So the Free Press every summer has a group of high school apprentices who come in for a few weeks and learn how to be journalists. Their “handler” as she calls herself, asked me to put together a few links for the kids and take them through some design basics. Here’s what I came up with:

Makeup of a page:
The basics of what it’s all called. Hover over the page to see names and little descriptions.

The Newspaper Designer’s Handbook: If you can get your hands on one of these, it is an excellent place to start. Everything I learned about design started with my college media advisor saying “Read this book and get back to me.” There are some sample pages here: that are an example of some of the types of things covered in the book, such as: “There’s always many ways to present a concept.” Click around the site though and you’ll see other design tips and Q&As for dealing with the most common problems designers face.
I have a copy of the 6th edition.

Newseum: Daily updates from newspapers all over the world. Go to the top ten to see their picks everyday of the 10 best for the day.

Adobe TV: They have videos about how to use all of their products to make whatever digital art, website, photo editing etc.

Society for News Design: Where the awards come from. Seriously, though, there is a lot more commentary here on all types of design issues, including ethics and jobs and conventions and, yes, awards. The Free Press has one a few of these awards, including an Award of Excellence for the “We love the D” page two years ago.
Plus: – a site hosted by the SND where designers can keep a digital portfolio on the web (in JPEG form). (My portfolio is woefully out of date, sorry guys.)

Charles Apple Blog: A round up of good work, bad work and commentary on both from a blogger with many years of experience in the industry. This blog is an archive of the last 4 years, when it became hosted at the American Copy Editors Society website ( <<—- another good one to know). He started on a message board at but all 2,492 posts seem to have disappeared. Strange. His posts have slowed down since he got a job at the Orange County Register a year ago, but there are thousands of posts about cool things newspapers have done or are doing design-wise, as well as job links periodically.
Some notable recent posts from 2014:
Sideways on page 1:
Best 4th of July pages:
Cool headline: Questionable headline:
Va. Pilot Memorial Day front:
Godzilla Graphic:
Ballet in Cuba:
Az. Republic wrap front:
Tenn. Drug Babies:
Mudslide section:
Alternate story form:
Maya Angelou no headline:
A rather interesting photo illustrate-without-a-photo page:
Rule Number 1: When you have a great photo, run it big and get out of the way:
Inside the Detroit Free Press Lidstrom section:
Wisconsin papers cover the Final Four:
Cover montage made from crowdsourced photos:
Some great snowstorm pages out of Virginia: AND (One thing I’ve always loved about the Virginia Pilot is their very vertical layouts. Unfortunately, it’s something they do out of necessity because of how often they have a spadea wrapping the front page, plus that ad in the bottom right corner.)
One of the few times you’ll see bottled water as art for page 1:
When in doubt, drop a cartoon character into your headline type … said no art director ever:

A post from Michael Koretzky about college journalism and how to get the most out of college, j-school or otherwise:
9 Mistakes that crush a college journalists career: Click around for other similar advice on resumes, internships and why you should be an editor in college if you want a job in newspapers.
Koretzky was the advisor for a paper in Florida for a while and speaks at the CMA conference every year in New York. I asked him to tear up our student paper and talk us through what he changed and the resulting advice session was (after the tears were done) really enlightening and shook up my perceptions of what design can be when you start thinking about it as a blank page every day rather than "this is how you start and here's where you can go within the given parameters." Disclaimer: He believes that job of a journalist (an therefore the job of anyone teaching young journalists) is to shake things up and challenge perceptions.

Jim Romenesko: One of the go to about-the-media-by-the-media blogs. Posts several times a day.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s