Designing without photos in the RGJ

The lead story for the RGJ this Sunday is the lawsuit between Harvey Whittemore and the Seeno family, which really isn’t a friendly story for designers because the only art to work with is mugshots and other, more boring elements. So I like the approach the paper took using text as art, and applying it to it’s readership.

I like the idea but I don’t like the execution. The bookend columns on Whittermore and Seeno are distracting from the main element, and it’s confusing to not have a main story to attract attention–just an extended teaser for inside content. Be bold! Blow that text image up to the full width of the paper, and drop everything below it. That kind of eye-grabbing changes are necessary if you want to attract extra attention to this story. It also balances out the large amounts of white space by the huge boxing skybox.

I’m glad to see that the RGJ is trying to diversify their content and draw extra eyes to an issue, while important, isn’t that appealing visually. But I want to see them do it in the best way possible.

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