Those who have read this column over the years have probably seen this quote before:
"If you fail to plan ... you plan to fail."
I believe that so deeply that it has become embedded in my DNA.
But I'm preaching to the choir. You already have plans.
You have a business plan. An advertising plan. A circulation plan. A production plan. A personnel plan. A growth plan.
But (with rare exception), no design plan.MORE
I'm a friendly guy. Most people who know me genuinely like me ... and I like them.
I can be a strong friend. I can stand by you when you need me to. I can help you when you've got a problem. I can just be there by your side when you need support.
But ... I can also choose to not be your friend if I think it matters.
So, let me get this out there briefly and clearly: I am not a friend of writers ... or designers.MORE
I've been a consultant for almost 30 years. Before that, I worked more than 20 years in writing and editing positions, most of those years as an editor and manager at daily newspapers.
During that half-century, I've learned a few things about how to do my work well and how to conduct myself in the workplace.
I recently received a call from someone close to me who was struggling in her work. She asked my advice and I did my best to help her.
After that conversation, I sent her the following. I call it "25 on-the-job ideals."
I thought I'd take a side road from design this month to share my note with you.MORE
Special sections let us give readers content that differs from the normal flow of news, features, sports, ads and other content in the newspaper.
But there are some key elements to remember when dealing with special sections. Following are 10 points that are important:MORE
Many newspapers pay little attention to consistent organization from issue to issue. For example, content that readers find important – such as obituaries and comics – will float throughout the paper. In one issue, the obits will be on page 6. In the next, they could be on page 8. And in still another issue, obits could be on page 5.
Readers have a right to expect consistency from you, and you get that consistency by creating a sequencing plan.MORE
Readers would prefer we not jump our stories. Ever. But if we're gonna do it, let's work to do it right. Here are some tips.MORE
This ... is the tale of two ad pages – pages that have the same purpose but different approaches.MORE
Negative space, just like text, headlines, photos and other design elements, is very much an important part of your design – especially on features pages and photo pages.MORE
A client recently asked me to put together a presentation for his newspapers on nitty-gritty details that can make or break a design.
I came up with just a bit more than a couple dozen. But thinking about them more, I've now narrowed them down to a Top 10.
My thinking is that any one of these can make your design better, but leave one out and your design suffers.MORE
Let's face it: If you have a "new kid" doing design on your staff ... well, you'll have some design mistakes in your paper from time to time.
It takes a while – perhaps months – for the design rookie to learn what works and what doesn't. And during that time, he'll do some things that may make you cringe. It's OK – as long as you work with him to make sure he doesn't repeat them.
Here are "Top 10" mistakes you can watch for – and correct:MORE
Over the summer, the folks at The Palm Beach Post in Florida realized they had "a very large stock" of aging spadea paper that had to be used fairly quickly. Spadea paper, used for premium advertising that folds or wraps around the front section of the newspaper, eventually ages to the point that it's no good. The unused stock of paper became one half of a special package that also featured premium positioning on the paper's website.More
Southern hospitality and a Midwest-rooted sensibility will combine when SNPA and Inland Press Association team up for a Joint Annual Meeting next fall.
SNPA and Inland, known for programming practical, actionable information in a collegial environment, will meet at the J.W. Marriott Chicago in the city's Loop from Sunday, Oct. 6, through Tuesday, Oct. 8.More