Name Plate (aka Flag) is essentially the wordmark of a Newspaper. Like a wordmark is used for branding a person on their resume, a name plate is used to brand a newspaper. It is typically the name of the newspaper stylized by typeface, color, pictures, etc.
The Times of Oman’s name plate is surrounded by a rectangular red box. The ‘T’ in “Times” is much larger than any other letters and extends to the edges of the red. It is in a typeface that looks much like that of the ‘T’ in The New York Times’ nameplate. “Times” is large and written in a gothic looking typeface. Below that, “of Oman” is written smaller, nestled under “Times” and in a plain serif typeface. The Times of Oman nameplate also shows an animal. The combination of the two typefaces tells me that this publication is formal and serious, but also humble. The animal, which I am assuming is an Arabian Oryx and common to the area, tells me that this publication is meant for a local, not global, audience.
A byline is one line telling readers who wrote a particular story presented in a publication. A credit line tells readers who took a particular photograph/drew an illustration.
Bylines in Times of Oman are interesting because they do not actually say “by.” They simply state the writer’s name and email address. The writer’s name is written in the same bold, uppercase letters as is the first word of the story, typically the city in which the story takes place. This formatting helps the writer’s name blend in more with the story format. Credit lines also blend in. They are written in small, bold print and placed after the caption that goes along with each image. It is almost as if the photographer/illustrator is being credited with the image’s caption.
(example of pullquote, section flags, and folio)
A pullquote is exactly what it sounds like: a quote, usually a vivid one, pulled from a story and displayed in the publication. It’s formatting is different from other words on the page so that it is easily identifiable and it is meant to draw readers into the story from which is comes. Typically, I have found that pullquotes are placed somewhere within the text of the story, with the text wrapping around them.
In Times of Oman, however, I found pullquotes at the top of the page, resting inside the paper’s section flags. While I think this is interesting, and the pullquotes would draw me in, it also puts more work on me as the reader to identify to which story on the page the pullquote belongs.
Section flags are how newspapers distinguish each section from the other. They are similar to nameplates, but for each section head. In Times of Oman, the nameplate is a long, light blue rectangle that spans both pages in the spread. The name of the section is written in an all-caps, light serif font. The ornate “T” included in the nameplate is also included in the section flag, it is white and large enough to bleed into the top and bottom of the blue rectangle. Times of Oman’s section flags are clean and neat. Like the bylines and credit lines, it blends well into the overall design of the newspaper.
A publication’s folio goes at the top of every page and tells readers the publication name, the date, and the page number. For the Times of Oman, the folio spans the entire page, across the top of the section flags. For the left page, it gives the page number, a small vertical rule, the date, and then on the far right side, the name of the publication. The right page has the same information in reverse order so that the two “Times of Oman” are next to each other. This folio works well for the publication. It is simple and neat and keeps the page balanced.
Like “pullquote,”a refer is exactly what it sounds like: a short sentence or passage in the newspaper that refers to a story you can find deeper in the publication.
In the Times of Oman, I found three refers on the first page under the heading “Top Three Inside Stories.” The hierarchy of this section works really well. At the top, it gives the section title in a light grey. The title of the story lies just below that in bold black. Then comes a short blurb about the story in the same type, color, size, and weight that all of the other stories are written in. Following the blurb is an arrow and the page number where readers can find the whole story, both written in red. The way these refers are set up is easy to follow and looks clean.
According to the glossary in The Newspaper Designer’s Handbook, a rule is merely a straight line. If this is the case, then the Times of Oman uses rules throughout the publication to separate stories from each other, to separate the page number from the date, and to separate the section flags from the section’s content. While it may seem that all of those lines would be distracting, I didn’t even notice them until I started looking for examples of “rule.” Like much of the other content in Times of Oman, the rules blend. They are light enough to be non-intrusive.
Reverse is when white type is printed on a dark background.
I am assuming that it gets its name because white type on a dark background is not the typical way people see type in publications. This assumption proves true from what I see in Times of Oman. There are minimal examples of white type in the newspaper. I only noticed it in places like small headings for stories that explain a little of what the story is about. However little reverse is used, I feel as if it works well for the Times of Oman.
The nameplate, which sits on top of the first page, contains the publication’s Logo. The logo is way the publication’s name is stylized.
Like I mentioned before with the nameplate description, the Times of Oman’s logo is a sophisticated, gothic-like “times” with a plain serif “of Oman” underneath.
The Jump Line for newspapers is a line at the end of stories telling readers where to go for the rest of a story that was cut off.
For the most part, I think Times of Oman does this well. Their jump line is a simple arrow and page number. It tells me that there is more to the story without being too wordy. It also sets the jump line apart from the overall story text by making it bolder and red.