News design is the creative process of arranging content on a printed newspaper page, based on graphical and editorial considerations and objectives. Main editorial objectives include the ordered placement of news items by date, while graphic considerations include balanced, unobtrusive inclusion of advertising and readability. A good news designer should be able to work with a wide variety of newspapers and also with a range of different layout formats. They should be aware of the balance sought between form and function, and they should be capable of expressing themselves clearly and artistically.
Graphic design normally refers to the arrangements of pictures and images on a website or in a print publication for communication purposes. Newsrooms that concentrate primarily on news reporting often make full use of graphic design, but it should be kept in mind that graphic design encompasses a whole range of communication concerns, such as logos, bookmarks, charts, photographs, charts, signs and diagrams. The arrangement and appearance of graphics and pictures on a website can greatly affect users’ experience of a site. Newsroom staff must therefore be capable of dealing with a wide range of communication and designing challenges.
The key principles of good news design are simple: clarity and attractiveness. Clear communication and appealing appearance are usually achieved through a well-chosen selection of colours and a careful implementation of style. Newsrooms should not have overly busy or confusing interfaces, especially when the reader’s attention is directed to a relatively small number of particular items. A large proportion of newspapers’ audience will be traditional readers, and web design should not attempt to appeal to these people, but rather to be clear and simple at the same time. It is advisable to keep the basic design format of the newsroom consistent with its website, but it is also wise to take into account other considerations such as the aesthetic values of the subject matter and the relationship the website and paper have with one another.
Many newspapers employ a set of designers whose expertise is in news design or web design. Many people will only consider hiring designers who specialize in newsprint design to write and develop news content. However, Arnold & Partners have successfully designed websites for major corporations, including CNN, Google, Microsoft, Nike and Unilever. Web and magazine design teams in major cities around the world are regularly hired to conduct focus groups, evaluate the success of different websites and make recommendations for improvements.
Some newspapers, in an effort to reduce costs, have attempted to outsource their web design requirements to agencies that offer a variety of specialist skills. For example, C.E.O. Web, Inc., based in San Francisco, offers website design and development services to newsrooms. The company offers both desktop and mobile web design, and graphic design, user experience design, branding and promotional design. The company was founded in 1992 by C.E.O. Web, Inc., which is an outgrowth of the former Bell Atlantic Corporation.
The New York Times Company hired Bill Atkinson as the first new York Times web designer in more than twenty years. Mr. Atkinson was previously involved with software development, product development and corporate design at Xerox. Prior to working at the New York Times, he served as an executive director of the Sightglass Corp. He began his career at Xerox, where he served as a systems engineer, project manager and lead systems engineer. Bill Atkinson has developed websites for numerous publications including the New York Times, Time/CNN and USA Today.