The Face of Expresso

Expresso is not your typical newspaper in terms of how it is formatted.  It is neither on a broadsheet nor tabloid size paper.  Rather, Expresso is formatted on a Berliner, also referred to as a “midi” size.  The dimensions of this format are 18.5 in. x 12.4 in., making it shorter and narrower than a broadsheet but taller than a tabloid.  This size paper allows for a wider column.  Expresso‘s grid is based on 30 columns; however, on the finished page it appears to only be six columns of text, pictures, or whitespace.  (For feature sections, however, the grid on the cover changes to what appears to be five columns still using the 30 column grid as a base.)  The six columns of the front page give it a modular look–it appears to be rectangles stacked upon one another.

The front page of Expresso acts like a traditional front page:  it has the reverse nameplate identifying it as Expresso; grabs the readers’ attention with a large photo, headline and beginning of a story; and it previews what else the readers can find within the paper.  The overall tone of the front page is serious enough to give the impression that the information inside is important and accurate.  Yet, it still has ‘pizzazz’ to it, like the reverse nameplate and intriguing graphic, that says its not just another paper and to attract a younger audience.  The implicit message this front page sends is that Expresso is the paper you should read, if you are going to be reading only one paper.  It will cover everything you need to know from hard news, lifestyle pieces, sports, investigative reporting and everything in between.

Every front page is laid on in the following way:  An colorful advertisement, that usually conveys some sort of motion, lies at the very top of the page above the nameplate.  Sometimes, this advertisement actually covers the blank blue space after the title of the paper.  Next, the reverse nameplate.  Below that, on the furthest left hand column, is the daily “24 Horas” piece, which extends to the appropriate length needed for the day.  Beside the “24 Horas” piece, occupying the rest of the columns above the fold and slightly below, is a large graphic and headline accompanied by the beginning of the story.  Beneath that, two to four stories that are inside the paper are started.  Finally, running along the width of the bottom is another full color ad.  This structure is followed throughout the majority of papers.  However, if the large story featured on the front is extremely important, more of that story will be on the front page and take up the spot usually held by the teasers to other stories.

As far as visuals, there is clear importance placed on the headline story of the day.  It is always accompanied by a large, eye-catching graphic, photo, or illustration.  Other than that, the visuals on the front page are relatively small and unobtrusive.  There may be a small graphic with a teaser, but it does not distract the readers away from the main story of the day.