First up is the Rockford Register Star, by far the best front page of the group today.
The page leads off with a huge 6-column photo of the president and the first family. The labeling across the top of the package includes a lot of good information (something you'll see atop many of GateHouse fronts today). The information includes electoral votes earned by each candidate, percentage of popular votes, as well as the total votes each received by the time this front page had to be sent.
The election logo also was widely used. One thing I didn't like was the double use of the word "election," both in the logo and the text label just below it. In this case, and in this position, losing the text label would have been just fine.
The big headline gets added information with an explanatory secondary headline.
Below the nice AP photo, readers didn't find a story. Nope, they found five nicely crafted, informative promos to stories inside. The blurbs quickly give readers a good sense of the big news of the day, nationally and locally.
Below the main package includes more refers, a photo of Romney and text saying he concedes, and a collection of quotes from local folks.
Really nice page!
In Massachusetts, The Patriot Ledger and The Enterprise shared common architecture and format, but used different content.
The main and secondary headlines differ, the main photos are different, as well as the content below. Same format, different content. Both of these pages really popped. Great job!
The Daily Messenger out of Canandaigua, N.Y., ran a nice centerpiece of the presidential election.
The data and logo atop the package is taken from the shared piece. Great headline, too! The two stories below are divided by a nice package of content promotions. Well done!
Back in Obama's home state of Illinois, The State Journal-Register gave the election a 5-column treatment.
The shared text and logo sits above the massive 2-deck headline. With all-caps headline such as this, be mindful of the leading. Here it looks a bit loose. There's nothing wrong with tightening it up a bit. The leading appears loose because the space above and the top deck and below the second deck is tighter than the space between the decks themselves, exaggerating the leading. Otherwise, this is a nicely presidential page!
Over in the swing state of Ohio, The Repository also gave the presidential election a big presentation.
The main headline is on two decks of different sizes, accentuating Obama's name. Totally fine. The bulleted secondary headlines here add a great deal of info, but I think it's a bit much. That's a lot of capped type to get through. A lot of capitalized words are difficult to read. Also, the space the headlines occupy is larger than the space occupied by the main story, making the package a little top-heavy. Love the rail down the left wraps up key races with mugs and refers to stories inside. Super job.
Not far from Canton, Ohio, is New Philadelphia, the community covered by The Times-Reporter.
The 6-column, 2-deck headline carries the top of the page. Photos of local voters and local candidates voting gave this page a lot of local flavor. Nice refer package, too, in the lower left corner.
Heading west to Kansas, the Dodge City Daily Globe kept its local rail while still giving the presidential election big play in five columns
Based on the headline, it's easy to see an early deadline forced the uncertainty, which was confirmed with the data above that shows smaller numbers of electoral votes available before this page was sent to press than some of the other front pages. And check out that unique photo. I don't think that was the best photo, but it certainly grabs your attention.
Back east, The Herald News ran a good mix of national and local elections out front.
The size of the 4-coumn headline gives it some oomph. The light serif type on the other election stories aided the hierarchy. Well done.
The Register-Mail in Galesburg, Ill., also put the presidential election in the centerpiece and gave it a good-sized head.
What I like most about this page is how clean it is. From the top, the data is presented well, the headline fits nicely in the tight space (though the leading could be tighter), a 2-item breakout anchors the lower right corner of the package, and local election stories frame the centerpiece. The space is consistent all around, the hierarchy is clear, there's an obvious dominant photo. All elements of a well-desinged page. Super!
The MetroWest Daily News chose to use for its centerpiece an AP image tweeted by Obama after his victory.
The caption reads: Michelle and Barack Obama hug in a photo tweeted by the president moments after he clinched victory Tuesday. The tweet: "Four more years." The large headline says enough in only one deck, giving more room to the story and promos below. Note that the data that appeared above the headlines of many other pubs ran as a breakout below here. That choice also help keep the top of the package nice and tidy, opting for a couple of content promos. Fantastic!
The Examiner in Independence, Mo., reduced the local rail to give the presidential election more space at the top of the page.
Voting data and headline work nicely up top. The secondary headline seems to be on the small side for a 6-column position. Also, note the two breakout boxes in columns two and four of the story. When using breakout boxes into two separate boxes, the story will be forced to warp around them, adding to the appearance of clutter. The summary head here doesn't help much either. I would suggest here to try to run the breakout boxes as one elements to minimize the number of elements the story has to wrap. This page lacks a true dominant photo. Both images are just about the same size. Don't be afraid to pick one and play it larger than the others. Still, a nice page that gives readers a lot of information.
The Record Herald in Waynesboro, Pa., give the presidential election a strong position in a vertical space.
The only downside here is the lack of horizontal space needed to display the data above the headline. It's just too tight up there. Perhaps the logo could have been reduced in size and the redundant text label removed.. You also can see that it overlaps into the white space that frames the package, adding to its tightness. Still, though, a nice page.
In Camdenton, Mo., the Lake Sun gave a hot state race the big splash on the front. Note the skybox announcing Obama's re-election.
Eric Dundon, editorial content manager at the Sun, shared this about its coverage: "W thought readers would be most interested in the volatile senate race, so we played that large with an AP image. We drove the presidential results to the skybox and played local races, none of which were close or interesting, down page." Great job!
Well, that's all for now, folks! Great job by local newsroom staffs! Great job by the designers in local newsrooms and in each Design House!
Joe Greco is corporate design director for GateHouse Media.
Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.