Mar
08

What works, what doesn’t V

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Something must have been in the air: a lot of papers used reverses in their centerpiece presentation on Sunday. Granted, one sure way to say “here is a special story” is to reverse the type.

There are clearly two ways to go about this: use reverse type for your story or put the type in a white box within the package. Does that ruin the effect, however?

The Arizona Republic reverses even the body text, but on the plus side there isn’t much type before you jump inside. If it were much longer, it would be a pain to read.

My rules of thumb are (a) if possible use sans serif in smaller sizes because the serifs get lost to the ink, and (b) if you must use serif type, bump the size up 1 or 2 points. The Arizona Republic did the other potential cure for hard-to-read type: run very little of it. They also used serif type in the headline, but serif is okay in larger sizes.

The Quad City Times technically isn’t a reverse, but a dark photo. The Florida Times-Union uses all sans serif on the package, as does the Orlando Sentinel.

Which is preferable? I don’t think there is an easy answer to that. I think putting a white box with body type in the middle of a reverse detracts from the effect to a certain extent. I would probably fall on the side of running the body type reversed, but run just a little bit of it and run it larger than normal size. I think that’s a better approach than using a white box with your body type in it.

What do you think? Leave a comment!

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Related posts:

  1. What works, what doesn't, II
  2. Newspaper headlines: serif or sans?
  3. What works, what doesn’t IV

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