Principles of News Design
News design is the creative process of organizing content on a printed newspaper page, based on graphic and editorial guidelines and objectives. These objectives can be informing, selling or informative purposes. The process must take into account presentation and composition to make the final output readable and appealing. Main editorial objectives would include the arrangement of news items by category, for instance, breaking news, sports, local and world, along with their relative categories of date-line, location, and general content. While graphical considerations involve balanced and unobtrusive integration of marketing, advertising and information, readability is also a key element.
In contrast to magazines and books which are primarily concerned with text, newspapers are primarily concerned with pictures. This, coupled with the requirement for news fastness, has led to news design becoming one of the most competitive professions today. Graphic designers have to work closely with managers, editors, reporters and other news readers to produce news that is clear, concise and well presented. Designers have to be imaginative, critical, artistic and imaginative. They need to be skilled in communicating ideas and building new graphics. They also have to be familiar with all types of media and the skills to work with various formats.
Although many people consider graphic design as an ‘artistic’ task, it actually involves many aspects of business. For example, copywriters write news copy and submit it to newspapers for approval. Newsletters need to be written in a format that will be easy to understand and appealing to the target audience. The goal of the newspapers is to keep their readers interested so that they continue to come back. A good news designer builds a good relationship with the editors and management thereby increasing the chances of getting his or her news noticed. Newsletters, moreover, represent the best form of advertising for newspapers, as the readers will be sure to notice the latest in their favorite topics.
Newsroom designers are responsible for many different tasks including choosing colors and stock pictures, creating headers and subheadlines, preparing the layout and final artwork. News designers often work in close association with the editors, art director and other executives within a newspaper. They are required to show strong communication skills, exhibit creativity, know the needs of the management and devise a timely way to present the news.
Another important factor in the success of news design is consistency. It is vital that the designs and layouts of the different sections of a newspaper remain constant. Newspaper design does not just cover the front page; it extends to the inside pages as well. This principle leads to the success of any web design. When web designers are hired by papers, they can create innovative designs that are compatible with the look of the paper.
The fourth principle of news design deals with the readership of the newspaper. Readers must be able to follow the layout as designed, without question. In order for this to happen, newspapers must place primary importance on providing a clear reading gravity. The design of the web design must take into consideration how readers will determine whether or not the information provided is valuable. Allowing the reader to make an educated decision on whether or not the information is worth the read can lead to increased circulation.