Field Notes: Conclusion

I didn’t know too much about The Guardian at the start of this class, but I had read it a few times. I was interested to learn more about its design because I had heard a lot about it online. I also wanted a publication I would be able to read. I was impressed with what I saw in The Guardian because I was so used to seeing American publications. It was truly refreshing to see what newspapers abroad were doing with regards to news design.

As we went through the semester, it was easier to critique the publications, especially after the informative lessons/PowerPoint presentations and reading the text. It was also easier to apply these critiques and lessons to my own design. I think looking at The Guardian helped influence my design for the better — it helped me think to use a signature color palette, just like The Guardian does. The Guardian creates a design that is unique and interesting, but consistent — readers that pick up the publication know what to expect each week, and this greatly helps with the navigation of the paper.

What’s Good

The Guardian works flawlessly on its 6-column grid, which makes the pages easy to read.

I also really appreciate and enjoy The Guardian’s promos and refers, which are colorful, bold and usually involve a photo. This helps make these stories interesting, and leads readers to want to read them.

They use their signature color palette effectively and limit their typefaces so that type does not become overwhelming. Their Guardian typefaces are distinct from other newspaper typefaces as they were made for the paper, which is really awesome.

Their furniture is interesting and works well with the vibe of the publication — for example, their pullquotes are simple with a boast of one of their signature colors.


Pullquote example

Pullquote example

Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 2.12.57 PM

Promo example

What’s not so good/Room for improvement

I think The Guardian could improve their bylines. They don’t really stand out and are kind of boring. I’d also like to get more information out of the bylines, for example the email addresses of each writer, reporter, photographer, etc. Also there are some inconsistencies with the bylines.

Also, there photos are inconsistent. Some are very engaging and draw me into the story, and others fall flat. They should try to improve their photography here. There was one really cool spread that I saw with a full page photo that was amazing. They should do stuff like this more often.

I’d love to see more graphics in The Guardian because when they do include illustrations or graphics, they usually grab my attention and keep me interested in a story.

I thought The Guardian website lacked the flare of the print publication. I think the newspaper would greatly benefit by incorporating design elements from the paper into the website — for example keeping the design a little simpler because the website right now is a little overwhelming.

Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 2.09.43 PM

Full-page photo spread

Illustration example

Illustration example

Byline example

Byline example

Overall, I think The Guardian is a well designed publication that could use some tweaking to make it even better. After all, one lesson I learned from this class is that no matter how much you improve something, it can always be tweaked a little more.