When it comes to newspaper design, many small newspapers make basic design mistakes, such as using typefaces incorrectly, according to Ed Henninger, founder and director of Henninger Consulting in Rock Hill, S.C.
“The basic key to good newspaper design is using the right typeface in the right size with the right spacing,” Henninger said. “And I think a lot of newspapers just don’t really see that. They don’t understand that that’s the one basic thing you need to do, to get that right.”
Another common problem is that many newspapers do not plan, he said.
“To me, the words design and plan are synonymous, and newspapers don’t plan. They just kind of wing it on their design most times, and I think that’s a problem,” Henninger said.
Henninger will present two workshops at the New Engand Newspaper and Press Association’s annual winter convention, Feb. 8 and 9 in the Boston Park Plaza Hotel. The workshops are titled “The License to Print Money” and “News Design 101.”
The workshops aim to arm journalists with the proper tools and advice to begin to design their newspapers successfully on their own.
“Part of the problem
is that editors are put in the position of being designers when they
have no design training whatsoever,” Henninger said.
“The thrust of that presentation is to offer ideas for different ways of using design and content for revenue generation,” Henninger said.
Henninger will discuss how newspapers can do a better job of creating revenue opportunities. One example Henninger gave was something called the “skinny strip,” a very small advertisement that can generate additional revenue because of its configuration and placement on a page.
Henninger said QR codes -- Quick Response Codes made of black modules or square dots that can be read by an iPhone and other devices with a camera -- are another element that can generate revenue.
Henninger will also discuss how to better use photos, and where and how to use color and more.
The “News Design 101” presentation is “tuned mostly for smaller newspapers whose editors really don’t have much of an idea of what to do with design, and they don’t know how to make it work,” Henninger said.
Henninger plans to sit with his computer hooked up to a projector and walk people through the steps of how to create libraries, style sheets, templates, object styles or anything the audience wants to know.
Henninger has created a list of “hot topics” he thinks are important tools and skills to know, which he will review. But he also hopes that convention guests will come with their own lists and questions so he can show them how to create what they want to create.
“So that’s the idea behind that one,” Henninger said. “To give help where help is needed.”
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