The Holland Sentinel localized an Associated Press story on gas prices by getting mugs and quotes from people on the street.
The images of local and no-so-local faces dominate the front page and make it impossible for readers to pass up. Why? Because readers want to find out if they recognized any faces or names. That reaction is almost a given. Run faces out front, readers will scour the images to see if they know anyone. This is a great way to localize a story without a significant investment of resources.
I would have suggested getting local art to replace the AP art of the gas station.
The vertical display of the mugs and quotes gives the package a great deal of impact. So much so, the mugs look like a separate story. It wasn't until I took a closer look that the mugs went with the story down the left side.
The reason? The way the headline was displayed over only the story. Had the headline stretched horizontally over the story AND mugs, it would have been unmistakeable as one large package.
Still, this page has a lot of visuals and local faces that keep readers interested.
Joe Greco is corporate design director for GateHouse Media.
Contact him at email@example.com.
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