The publication I study on for this semester is The Independent in UK. It is published 7 days a week, with weekday edition, Saturday edition and The Independent on Sunday. The three editions share basic characteristics but have differences from each other. Generally, the weekday and Saturday editions of The Independent share more similarities, and The Independent on Sunday has its own features.
1. Nameplates: names of newspapers as they’re displayed on Page One (also called flags).
The nameplate of The Independent is set on the left edge of the paper’s front page, with the small and horizontal “The” on the top, the all capitalized “INDEPENDENT” oriented vertically, and its logo on the right side of the “The” (separated by a rule which is as long as the “INDEPENDENT”). The nameplate usually ranges from the top to the bottom of the front page, unless there’s an ad at the bottom. The Independent on Sunday has an additional vertical “ON SUNDAY” line on the leftmost side.
This nameplate looks clean and professional. It doesn’t grab too much attention from the news contents, but remains significant enough to be seen. I think, however, the whole design would be more as a whole if the newspaper’s logo is also on the left side of the rule.
2. Refers: lines or paragraphs, often given graphic treatments, referring to related stories elsewhere in the paper.
The refer follows a story or a picture which usually offers the background or highlight of the related story, and can appear either in the front page or an inside page. Readers can get more information from the related story. It works as the printed version of related link in web pages.
3. Cutlines: information about photos or illustrations (also called captions)
Not all the photos and illustrations in The Independent have cutline or credit line. If the subject has cutline, it could found below or besides the subject, offering brief description and background information.
The cutline in The Independent can be easily distinguished from the body text, usually using different format than body text or being separated in an independent column.
4. Folios: lines showing the page number, date, paper’s name, etc.
The folio in weekday and Saturday editions of The Independent consists of page number, day and date, and paper’s name. The folio in The Independent on Sunday consists of the newspaper’s logo, page number, paper’s name and date.
It is printed on each page of the publication except page that contains ad only. Readers can easily know which page they are reading now, as well as find and go to the page they want to read.
5. Pull quotes: quotations from the story given graphic emphasis (also called breakouts or liftout quotes)
In weekday and Saturday editions, the pull quotes are usually quoted by extra-large red (or black/gray in black-and white pages) quotation marks, and sometimes they just have one quotation mark at the end of it. Besides, pull quotes use larger point size than the text, making them stand out from the body text.
In The Independent on Sunday, the formats of pull quotes vary.
The Independent uses a lot of pull quotes in stories. As a reader, my eyes always move in certain process when scanning a story page in The Independent: photos/illustrations – headline –deck – pull quotes – body text.
6. Logos/Sigs/Bugs: special labels set into stories giving typographic emphasis to the topic, title, writer’s name, etc.
Logos in The Independent involves many elements, such as writer’s introduction, brief topic summary, and title. They make the whole story more visualized and easy to glance at for more information.
7. Teasers and promos: these promote best stories inside the paper (also called skyboxes)
Contents of teasers are different among weekday edition, Saturday edition and The Independent on Sunday. In weekday editions, all teasers are from the paper; in Saturday and Sunday editions, teasers include recommendation to some best stories in supplements and pull-out subsections, such as Radar, Traveller, and The Independent Magazine (on Saturdays) as well as The New Review (on Sundays).
For people who are not very familiar with The Independent (like me), the teasers of other supplements and pull-out subsections in Saturday edition and The Independent on Sunday are confusing.
8. Bylines and Credit lines: the writers’ names, often followed by key credentials; for photo credits, they give the photographers’ names (often adding the paper or wire service they work for)
The Independent has traditional byline, which stands right below the headline and deck with only author’s name and position. Nevertheless, its editors also make byline in a more interesting and informative way. They write few sentences about the background of the article, which includes the author’s name in it, and highlight the name by using bold font.
9. Drop caps: large capital letters set into the opening paragraphs of special features (also called initial caps)
The Independent does not often use drop caps in the weekday and Saturday editions. In The Independent on Sunday, some articles use drop caps. However, the paper uses some similar elements every day. In the “Voice” section, every article begins and ends with extra-large red quotation marks. In addition, these big red quotation marks are also used in personal opinion articles in other sections, which share similarities with quotations from a person. It works because it distinguishes opinions from fact news pieces in a very visual way.
10. Continuation lines: page numbers the stories continue to; jump lines: page numbers the stories continue from.
Continuation lines and jumping lines are set clearly in articles, so it is not hard to find the remaining parts.