Two GateHouse New England papers — The Herald News and the Taunton Daily Gazette — ran a large front-page package on the 20th anniversary of the Foxwoods casino in nearby southeast Connecticut.
Both did a fine job with the packaging. Both did a fine job with the content.
Let's take a closer look to see why Taunton's front is the top front page from the weekend.
First the similarities:
• Both use the same photo of the casino, which seems to be a handout photo at one time from the casino. The Herald News uses the vertical photo at a whopping five columns, giving the page a big impact. The Gazette uses a narrower crop at about four columns wide.
• Both use the same main story (written by Herald News writer Will Richmond), main headline and sidebar (written by Grant Welker, also of The Herald News).
That's about where the similarities end.
Speaking of the sidebar, notice how on the Gazette cover, that secondary story is more firmly packaged as part of the main story package. The little bit of Photoshop work lengthens the background photo to provide a single background for both stories.
On The Herald News front, the sidebar looks as if it's unrelated to the main story because of how it's packaged.
The Gazette's narrower photo allows for two more related stories to be packaged down the right rail (written by Gazette staffer Marc Larocque).
The results of an online poll are nicely and colorfully presented in the bottom right corner on the News front.
The Gazette uses the same data, but presents them in a horizontal bar across the top. It's much easier to see the differences in the percentages in the bar chart. Taunton's advantage of using the horizontal display at the top of the package is that it helps tie the package together, that all stories below the tinted bar are related.
Here's a larger image of The Herald News' front:
Again, both pages are great. But the Taunton Daily Gazette front is just a bit better.
Excellent job by both!
Joe Greco is corporate design director for GateHouse Media.
Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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