Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Old and new media = a cracking tale

At the broadsheet Sunday Tribune in Dublin this week where the dominant story is a fascinating mix of old and new media - spiced up with a bit of sex and politics. Pencil Sharpener

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Celebrating 20 years of Photoshop

Happy birthday Photoshop ... 20 years old yesterday. Where would we be without it? Lots to enjoy on the web including Streakr and adobe tv. If you really have time to kill you can watch a full film of Thursday's 20th anniversary party in San Francisco (all two hours of it) on Photoshop 20th party. Even if you're not a geek the Russell Brown presentation is very clever. 

Friday, 19 February 2010

Great picture - 12 different layouts

One picture dominated the American front pages this week - Lindsey Vonn's look of elation as she crossed the line to collect Gold in the women's Olympic downhill. Most of the papers used it ... but at different sizes, in different positions and with different crops. In our Training tips we look at 12 front pages and their different approaches.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

A snapshot of design over the years

Nice idea - all the official Winter Olympic posters  since 1924. The older ones do it for us ... particularly Chamonix, 1924, Oslo 1952 and Nagano 1998. What does that tell you?  Albertville and Lillehammer - the computer has a lot to answer for.  Worth a visual page in the sport sections? 

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Buy a font and help Haiti

A new font has been created for Font Aid IV to benefit the people of Haiti. The font is made up only of ampersands - to represent people coming together to help each other. It only costs $20, less than £13. If every newspaper and magazine bought the font it would make a real difference. Details are at Typesociety. ALL proceeds go to  Doctors Without Borders

Digital innovation at Wired

Here's Wired moving into the digital age for both editorial and advertisers. We will see a lot of this in the near future no doubt but it looks like an exciting start. Digital Wired

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

World's best designed papers?

The world's best designed newspapers were named this week. Two of the top three are German, all are big read newspapers with traditional titlepieces, serif display and have swathes of space to play with. There isn't a tabloid or compact to be seen. Equally scarce are any advertisements. The winners, chosen, from 240 entries, are der Freitag (Berlin), Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, and The New York Times. It's a real accolade for der Freitag which is a weekly with a circulation  of 12,400. Take a look at the pages in detail on Flickr on Society for News Design and let us know what you think.

London course for Press Association Training

Press Association Training is setting up a second foundation course for journalists. The Newcastle course will continue but there is to be a parallel course in London. Makes sense. Details on the Pencil Sharpener.

Monday, 15 February 2010

One night at the Emirates

Mike Watson, our Arsenal correspondent for the football supplements we produce, has sent this link. One night at the Emirates. Amazing what you can do with one handheld camera in the crowd and a bit of editing software, 

Fonts funny

Clever typography sketch ... captures the personalities of the fonts pretty well. Century Gothic is perfect. Baskerville doesn't have a leg to stand on! Not sure about Comic Sans being the hero though. Font conference

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Bad spell

Thanks to David Kernek for reminding us that spellcheckers have a role ... but are definitely not to be relied upon http://bit.ly/Spellcheck
Writing Helper
Everything you need for writing. Spell Checker, Translator, Grammer Checker, ...
Offered by WhiteSmoke Tools

Shocking statistic ...

... from Peter Preston in the  ObserverNumber of working journalists killed on duty through the noughties: 725.

Daily Echo captures cup trouble

Good on-the-spot video from the Daily Echo in Southampton http://bit.ly/Pompey

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Friday, 12 February 2010

25 ways to save newspapers ...

... such as encourage young people into the profession by arranging screenings of “All The President’s Men” and “The Insider” while balancing this with the realities of the current state of the profession by throwing them down a flight of stairs afterward.
Or... when in doubt, pun. Very black humour from the Shark Guys.

Mail looking for trainee reporters

The Mail's reporters' training scheme will begin at the end of August. An advert is going in Media Guardian on Monday.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

... and trainee subs

For the last seven years the Daily Mail has recruited trainee subs, sent them to me and my colleagues at Press Association Training, for five weeks intensive subbing training followed by a secondment to a big regional newspaper. If they make the grade, which the vast majority do, they land a sub's job at Northcliffe House. The scheme is running again this year and the Mail is recruiting now. The advert was in The Guardian on Monday Mail training scheme. The closing date is March 5. The reporters training scheme, which began two years ago, is also running again. 
Details soon.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Radical revenue ideas

Hull Daily Mail this week - running a subbing and layout course for members of the hub. Might try to take in Derby v Newcastle on Tuesday. Also putting together a 24-page Champions League supplement for the Irish Examiner and writing an article on 'radical revenue ideas for newspapers' for InPublishing magazine.  The idea was inspired by Will Lewis's team in Euston who are charged with, among other things, using the Telegraph brand to "capitalise on cutting-edge ideas, driving new revenue streams by better serving our customers". This is proving a tough one to write. If anyone has come across really innovative ways for newspapers to make money, I'd love to hear them (but then, I guess, wouldn't everyone).

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Silly season comes early ...

... at The Northern Echo with the story of a pheasant attacking cars and prams in a North Yorkshire village. Editor Peter Barron says the story has now gone global, being published in Australia and the Aston Martin news site! The video made me smile - how to make a story out of not very much. http://bit.ly/pheasantattack

Friday, 5 February 2010

Give us an 's

Those of you who get irritated by apostrophe abuse might enjoy this. It's St James's of course ... why penalise James just because his name ends in an s? If they reinstated the 's we might win something.

One headline fits all

Good spot from our old friend George Dearsley. John Terry holding a copy of The Sun with a headline that says 'I've lost my wife and let my family down.' It refers to Tiger Woods, of course.

Typography rant

You may have seen this or variations of it ... but it still raises a smile.

Design Clinic - juxtaposition

Make sure you always see the adverts. Yes, I know ad managers and others will say it is impossible but it isn't. I have dozens of examples ... many of which are embarrassing and some are downright insulting.

Farewell to my new Nigerian friends ...

... from the Daily Trust http://www.news.dailytrust.com who have spent two weeks at Press Association Training in London. They have learned everything from the subbing masterclass and the editor's chair courses and I have learned a huge amount about Nigerian newspapers and culture. They fly back tomorrow to 35 degrees and newspapers that believe, first and foremost, that good journalism sells newspapers. Good luck to them.

Clients from hell

Thanks to designer Steve Cowell of Steve Cowell Associates for the following exchange.

Client: “We like the green, but it’s just a little too green. Can you use our green?”
Me: “That is your green.”
Client: “Oh, well it looks more limey. We want it more like our green.”
Me: “The limey green is your green. It is exactly what is used on your logo type.”
Client: “Oh, okay, well then can you change it by one?”
Me: “One what? Do you want it lighter, or darker?”
Client: “No, just change it by one.”
Me: “I don’t understand what ‘change it by one’ means. I can make it lighter, darker, more yellow, more cyan… But when I change it, it’s not going to be the same as your corporate green.”
Client: “Okay, well let’s just change it by one and have a look.”

Welcome to my world!

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

The right type

Here are some of our favourite typography quotes to remind us that choosing the right font and using it properly is as important today as it ever was.

"There are now about as many different varieties of letters as there are different kinds of fools." Eric Gill.

"People who love ideas must have a love of words, and that means, given a chance, they take a vivid interest in the clothes which words wear." Beatrice Warde.

"No matter how great the author's wisdom or how vital the message, unread print is merely a lot of
paper and a little ink."
Herbert Spencer.

Last year I ran a typography workshop for Sony and in the process was delighted to discover these iPod apps.

Kern (59p) - you have to position a falling letter into the right place in a word.
WhatTheFont (free) - use the iPhone camera to take a picture of a font and this app will identify it.
The Font Game (59p) - how many of the fonts can you identify? Pretty difficult stuff.

The last one comes from one of our favourite websites I Love Typography. Worth a visit.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Working with the Daily Trust

Working with four senior journalists from the Nigerian Daily Trust http://www.news.dailytrust.com in London this week. We are looking at strategy and managing change. An eye-opener for them .. and for me.

Regional Press Awards looking positive

Pleased to report that the Regional Press Awards look likely to go-ahead. Last year some newspapers felt going to London to celebrate was inappropriate against a background of cost cutting and job losses. Clearly, without the support of the big regional players, the awards couldn't survive. This year though there has been a positive response - a sign that things are getting better. The awards date is likely to be in June. We will let you know here when anything is decided.