I didn’t know what to expect from a man in army pants, sunglasses, a military hat and a cigar dangling out of his mouth. But what I got was freelancer Michael Koretzky: a man who speaks my language.
The name of his session was “Chicken Salad.” And let’s just say it tasted pretty good to me.
He presented his redesign of pages from real college newspapers with the perfect blend of design, profanity and humor. Each of his page redesigns were done in just 15-20 minutes and they were all done well.
He focused on the fact that we are college journalists. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we shouldn’t hold ourselves and our newspapers to high standards, but we should remember that we’re writing for students, and we should cater to that demographic.
He summed up each of his page redesigns with one-liners, joking that “our generation” is used to reading things in terms of text messages and tweets. He wasn’t far off with that assumption. His advice was straightforward, concise and memorable. I can’t wait to attend his next session later today.
Michael Koretzky on…
Front page art: “Less is more.”
Voice: “Talk to your audience like students.”
Choosing front page stories: “Make tough decisions for your readers.”
Designing around ads: “Wrap ads safely in text like a little baby Jesus.”
Headlines: “Have fun with them.”
Good art: “Pick something that’s really good and BLOW IT UP.”
White space: “It is your friend.”
Finding inspiration: “Steal from one, it’s plagiarism. Steal from many, it’s research.”
Readership: “Your readers are YOU. You are your own audience.”
Taking risks: “Try something truly weird once a month.”
And my personal favorite…
“You have the next 50 years to be boring. BE BOLD NOW.”