Field Notes: Inside pages, Virginian-Pilot

The local front page of the Virginian-Pilot, uniquely labeled “Hampton Roads,” is located on B1. The section front is similar to A1, as the nameplate moves around the page, changes color and jumps into images. The front uses color and large images to emphasize the visuals. The front is usually constructed around a centerpiece with large type, which creates hierarchy on the page. The balance of the page is shifted more toward the middle of the page, a departure from other more traditional publications. The section head differs from the main nameplate, though; it’s a very light, elegant typeface that communicates a modern feel.

The section front also runs extended teasers for several other local stories on the page, with secondary images for support. The section front, along with A1, is unpredictable. The non-modular design creates varying layout templates, and the section head jumps all over the page.

Inside pages are black and white, and contrast the section front due to the text-heavy pages. There’s usually a two-column, half page ad on B2 and subheadings divide content and guide the reader’s eye to specific articles. For how extravagant the V-P’s section fronts are, the inside pages are pretty low-frills. The spice here is in the typography and subdivisions of content, and occasionally breaking the grid and playing with white space. But for the most part, it follows the same formula as the inside pages of any other American newspaper– content first.

chrisballard