Field Notes #1: Furniture


Nameplates– The banner on the front of a newsletter or other periodical that identifies the publication is its nameplate. The nameplate usually contains the name of the newsletter, possibly graphics or a logo, and perhaps a subtitle, motto, and publication information.

Example: Unlike most news publications, The Grid’s nameplate is in the bottom, right-hand side of the page.  It’s subtle, but stands out with white type against a solid, black background.


Teasers & promos– An eye-catching graphic element, on Page One or section fronts, that promotes an item inside; also called a promo.

Example: The Grid uses multiple teasers on the front page to allude to stories inside.  One in particular is displayed as a simple header and page number, with a small twist.  The header reads, “49 people who made Toronto a better place this year”.  To the right of the main text reads, “AND A HORSE”, and includes a small icon of a horse.  This is a unique use of a teaser to intrigue readers to read on.


Cutlines A line or block of type providing descriptive information about a photo.

Example: The cutlines throughout this publication are similar uniform in style and form.  All photographs are usually accompanied by a small icon, a small bold header, and a description written in italic type.


Logos/sigs/bugs A word or name that’s stylized in a graphic way; used to refer to standing heads in a newspaper, used to label a story; often indented into the text.

Example: I could only find one example of logos/sigs/bugs in this issue of The Grid.  Most heads were in the same typeface, only varying slightly in size or color.  That being said, I noticed that many of the advertisements throughout the publication utilized creative typography.  This provided a nice contrast between the actual content of the paper versus paid advertisements.  The one logo/sig/bug that I was able to find can be seen above the head of one of the feature stories.  The text, “3rd Annual Menschies”, is placed over a blue illustrated banner, wrapped around what looks to be a hand-drawn globe.


Bylines & credit lines– The reporter’s name, usually at the beginning of a story.

Example:  The bylines throughout The Grid are uniform throughout.  They are bolded, capitalized, and placed after the dek of every story.


Reverses A printing technique that creates white type on a dark background; also called a dropout.

Example: A great example of a reverse can be seen in the nameplate of The Grid.  There are not many other dropouts throughout the content of the publication because the background is primarily white.


Folios– Type at the top of an inside page giving the newspaper’s name, date and page number.

Example: For the most part, folios throughout The Grid are located at the top of every page.  The only pages that do not contain a folio are full-page ads.  One thing I noticed to be consistent for both the inside and outside pages is that the page number is always closest to the corner.  This makes sense, as it makes it easier for readers to flip through and find the page they are looking for.  Unlike traditional US newspapers, The Grid is not organized by numbered and lettered sections (Ex: A5, D7).  It is organized using only numbers all the way through.

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Jump lines & continuation lines– Type telling the reader that a story is continued from another page.

Example:  Unlike most newspapers, I was unable to find any jump lines or continuations lines throughout The Grid.  The publication is organized in a way that allows full stories to fit on a single page.  I think this is smart, making it easier for readers to read an article in its entirety.


Wraps/skews– Text that wraps around a photo or artwork; also called a wraparound or a runaround

Example:  Although the text itself does not wrap around the illustration pictured here, the banner that holds the text is a great example of a wrap.  In this case, it is being used to make the image more three-dimensional.


RulesA vertical or horizontal line that serves as an accent to separate elements.

Example: As seen in this example, The Grid, uses rules frequently and creatively.  Each rule varies in stroke and style.  Some are thick, bold lines, others are thin, dotted paths, and one is even wave-like.


– Alex Lo Grasso


One Comment

  1. Overall, Alex, you did an OK job. I would have like more insight and less literal description, however. … A few other quick notes: 1) The nameplate is not always at the bottom. In fact, it moves around and changes size. Be careful not to overgeneralize. 2) Your second-t-last example is not a wrap. Does the grid not use text wraps? Please be sure to view more than one issue if necessary.

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