For Chicken Salad II: Extreme Makeover, again with Michael Koretzky (above), we redesigned and edited stories on the front page.
Some of the things we went over in regards to design were:
-Clipart: doesn’t communicate anything to the viewer (but can be used in some instances, effectively)
-If you can edit stories, why can’t you edit photos? You can and should by cropping.
-You can have a playful headline as long as there is something below with substances
-Don’t put lists in stories
-Tell it like it is: don’t editorialize, even if it’s positive
-Write loosely, then tighten up. If reporters write more loosely in their own voice, then its easy to tighten up. However, if they write tight, then editing to read more smoothly puts the editor’s voice in it, not the reporter’s.
-No photoshop effects on text (i.e. backdrops)
-If leads have a lot of proper words, then it’s not telling the reader anything. For the lead, just sum it up
-In a lead, don’t start with the process, start with the result
-Stories about people trump stories about the process
-For teasers on the front page, use pictures of people not things
-Don’t blow off student profiles, blow them up!
-If you have to run a certain picture, run them big (pertains more to boring photos)
-If a story doesn’t have good art, don’t force art on it.
-Every rule can be broken and should, under the right circumstances.