From the nameplate and A1 to inforgraphics and a website, The Dallas Morning News is a very solid news publication. I’ve enjoyed looking through this publication from start to finish and analyzing their techniques both in print and online. Both publications present accurate and newsworthy articles for readers.
They both set up a nice hierarchy for readers to know which articles are of higher importance and which ones they could come back to later. The newspaper does this by focusing on usually one or two stories above the fold with larger headline text and usually a photo. The smaller stories appear below the fold or inside the newspaper with smaller display type, fewer images, and images in black and white. The website distinguishes hierarchy by focusing on one main story in their “news” section no matter the subject matter. This story changes as more breaking news comes in. Each additional section has a main story, but it’s smaller than the lead story. The smaller stories within these section usually just appear as a hyperlinked headline and occasionally have an image.
Overall, I enjoyed the website over the newspaper. I like have the ease of access to the online stories, but I also enjoy being able to flip through a newspaper and know when I’ve read all the articles. However, I think the DMN’s website is more visually appealing than their newspaper. I think the website is clean and easily navigated based on their navigation bar and outline of the website. The newspaper is organized well, but I think it lacks creative design techniques that other newspapers do.
I admire the DMN newspaper for having a set styleguide and following it well, but I think they need to take some more risks with their use of color and designs. From what I’ve seen, they do a pretty decent job choosing photos that are engaging for readers, and now they just need to work on a design that is more engaging. With that said, the paper is by no means poorly designed. What they do works. It’s effective. I just think they could take it a step further.
I think the main issue I have with The Dallas Morning News is that, despite the cohesiveness in stories and hierarchy, the newspaper and website have different feels. Understandably, the newspaper feels more traditional and the website feels more modern, but I think they should still be able to weave these ideas into both markets. I originally chose The Dallas Morning News because I enjoyed the modern feel of the website. I liked the nameplate on the website, and I liked the classic blue color scheme. After seeing this, I was underwhelmed by the newspaper once I looked at it. I think the newspaper could bring some of these modern touches into print.
From looking through The Dallas Morning News and other publications this semester, one thing I’ve learned about news design is that it’s a lot harder than it appears. The professionals make it look easy as you flip from page to page every morning. There is a lot that goes into make print and online news look appealing. It’s also challenging to make sure the identity of a news organization stays consistent from print to web.