I started off my morning with a laugh as I attended Tim Harrower‘s standing-room only talk on Fun 101. We looked at how to grab readers with a compelling front page. Whether it was running a huge photo across the front and back, or flip it on its side and make readers turn their newspapers, you’ve got to stay different. Have fun, be creative.
But a photo is not the only choice for a front page. You can use different sized and colored words and have a “type attack” on the front to guide a readers eye through the page. Don’t be afraid to stretch, twist, turn text.
Also I learned that you can’t take yourself too seriously. Try and push that boundary on appropriate/inappropriate and make readers go out of their way to read your paper.
A note for the sports section: I saw a lot of sports pages and special editions where they had their top athletes depicted in comic form as super heroes appearing larger than life. Also you can have a huge design and run it over the course of 4 days that can combine to create a big poster. I see a lot of potential of us running full page photos of athletes and making the pages posters.