Field Notes 1/29

Zaman – Turkish Daily News

The Basics:

1 ) Bylines & credit lines – The byline gives the name of the article’s writer.

The bylines in Zaman are underscored by a skinny black line that helps separate the author’s name from the beginning of the article. The byline is entirely printed in upper case letters. The author’s proper name is in black text, while his/her location is in grey.

2 ) Jump lines & continuation lines- When an article continues on another page, we add jump lines to help the audience continue reading.

The jump line is underscored by a thin blue line, the same blue that is used in Zaman’s nameplate. In all upper case letters, the jumpline has an arrow, the section title, and a page number. It is simple and easy to understand.

3 ) Sidebar – Information placed separate (usually adjacent) to an article. While they may be physically apart, the sidebar provides additional information to enhance the article.

Zaman does not appear to utilize sidebars on their front page. The thumbnails available on Press Dispaly indicate that Zaman often uses graphics and photographs as sidebars.

4 ) Drop cap- The drop cap is an oversized initial that sits within a paragraph. It is the staring letter in a paragraph of information.

Instead of drop caps, Zaman uses this grey arrow at the beginning of every article. In my opinion, the use of an arrow is confusing because our eyes have been trained to follow what the arrow is pointing to. In this case, the arrow is pointing into the middle of a word, rather than the beginning of an article/sentence. I would be interested to know the rationale/significance behind choosing to use the arrow.

5 ) Pull quote- A quotation that is placed larger and more distinctive than the article it has been pulled from. It is a graphic way to draw the reader’s attention.

Zaman does not have any pull quotes on the front page of the Sunday paper. From looking at the thumbnails, I can tell that Zaman does not have a universal system when it comes to pull quotes. I see rectangle, circular, and square quotes. Some pulled into the center of an article, some that are pulled to the left. The pages that consistently use the same type of pull quote are, in my opinion, easier to read than those that use more than one.

6 ) Nameplate- Identifies the publication’s name. Designate “brand.”

This nameplate is one of a kind. I am surprised to see more than one color, and even more surprised to see a decorative graphic. This nameplate is certainly not one we would see in the United States.

I like that this nameplate is easily recognizable. One glimpse of the color or the typeface and I would know which newspaper I had in my hand. I want to like the graphic, but it looks like a DNA helix (or an hourglass). Like the arrow, I cannot easily determine what its significance is. Would the nameplate be any less memorable if the graphic weren’t there?

7 ) Cutlines- Photo captions that include “who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” and “why.”

The cutlines in Zaman are nothing out of the ordinary. One simple line of text, the cutlines answer the “who?” “what?” “when?” and if important, “where.” One thing I notice is that the photographer’s name is in grey, instead of black, to establish hierarchy.

8 ) Refers- A promo, (usually on the front page), that draws readers to important stories in subsequent sections.

The refers in Zaman are extremely eye-catching. The use of bold color and its placement on the page mean that besides the nameplate, they are the first things I notice. The use of the arrow in this graphic makes sense, because it points out exactly where a story can be found.

One aspect of the refers I am uncertain about, is the fact that on the left-hand side the color fades out. I am not sure if it is more legible in person, but the section title is very  difficult to see.

9 ) Folios- Indicates paper name, date, and section number. Keeps the publication organized and easy to flip threw.

I had to really search to find the folios. Zaman has nearly hidden them in a thick light gray line with white text. It appears to denote only publication name and phone number (on the cover page, at least.) This decision absolutely sticks with Zaman’s use of color to establish importance. However, for my taste, the folios are simply too hard to find.

10 ) Boxes- The space in which a story or photo is placed. Boxes in particular create hierarchy, as they draw our attention. Boxes also aid in separating pieces of information that do not go together.

The cover page does not show off what I see in the thumbnails: Zaman knows how to work a box. Instead of boring layouts where everything is placed in exactly the same way on every page, Zaman plays with space and shape. Many stories are accompanied by photographs that are not in a traditional rectangle. Like the woman in the upper left hand corner of the cover page, these photographs lack a box. I am impressed that Zaman has found a way to make 2D look more 3D. By eliminating “boxes” Zaman’s design seems to bridge the gap between physical and digital publications.