Chicken Salad: a laundry list of “terribly atrocious” designs in college journalism and how to fix them

By Michael Bodley

The Society of Professional Journalists national board member Michael Koretzky had students crammed into every square inch of the presentation room, blanketing the floor after seats ran out. He tore apart the designs of major college newspapers, pointing out flaws and plain bad habits.

And then he showed students how he redesigned them, in just half an hour. Design today is too weak, Koretzky thinks, too timid, too soft.

BE BOLD. BE VISUAL.

Oh, and read his blog here. He’s begging.

Change headline size. Change cutline formats. And, for the sake of journalism, change the size of photos. Don’t run the same designs and the same proportions on every page in the history of your paper.

If you’re not willing to experiment, your newspaper will take a back seat.

Be bold. Be visual. Do not be afraid. Now is the time for risks. You can’t get fired or lose your livelihood. Experiment. Figure out what works, what doesn’t.

Oh, and never run photos of old white guys in blue suits shaking hands. Apparently it’s never won a Pulitzer.

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