Field Notes: Furniture

Nameplate:  The name of a newspaper as it’s displayed on Page One.


The nameplate of Wired is located in between the left and center of the page.  This off-centered placement adds to the “funky” feeling the logo of the publication gives its audience.  The nameplate is in all caps, with every other letter in a black or white box.  This makes the nameplate catch the reader’s eye at the top of the page before guiding them further down the page.  It is a nameplate that is unique and one that the reader will remember.


Teasers & Promos:  An eye-catching graphic element, on Page One or section fronts, that promotes an item inside.


This teaser & promo presents a bold picture against a black background, which allows the bright colors of the vegetables to pop.  Underneath the picture in small font and all caps is the section in which this particular article appears.  In a larger font is the title of the article.  This works because the text does not take away from the picture, yet is large enough to not go unnoticed.  Moreover, while the typeface of the section and the title of the article are different, they work to complement each other.


Rules:  A printing term for a straight line.

rules_2        rules

Wired utilizes rules, as well as white space, in the sidebar of its website in order to create separation between multiple article titles.  The rules are bold enough to create a noticeable, yet clean separation between the article titles.  The publication also uses rules at the footer of their website.  These rules are more of a faint grey, though are still successful at serving the same purpose of separating multiple article titles.  The thickness of the rules make for a hierarchy, the thicker rules separating “trending” or more popular articles, while the thinner rules separating smaller articles.


Section Flags:  Titles of sections that are usually found at the beginning of a section.  Many times they are stylized differently than the article titles.

Screen shot 2014-01-27 at 12.44.05 AMScreen shot 2014-01-27 at 1.07.45 AM

The section flag examples above are both presented in a black type.  The publication utilizes white space throughout in order to also help create a sense of hierarchy on the page.  The larger type that is used for the section flags tells the reader what specific section they are in, while drawing the eye to the largest element on the top of the page.  The “Autopia” section title even has a graphic next to it that complements the section flag itself.  The use of graphics can have just as strong of a message that text does, as seen here.  

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


The cutlines in the publication are relatively short, usually limited to a short phrase in Helvetica.  The publication uses a reverse, white type on a black background, for all of its cutlines.  This black background or box at the end of the picture or graphic gives the reader a clear indication that the text describes the picture above.  Furthermore, this creates a cohesive feeling as the reader looks from the picture to the cutline.


Bylines & Credit Lines:  The reporter’s name, usually at the beginning of a story.


The reporter’s name is always shown directly below the title of the article in a smaller, sans serif font and in all caps.  The date and time that the article was published is also in the same size and stylized font as the byline & credit line.  What I found interesting was that the Twitter handle of the reporter was also included, allowing readers to follow the reporter and see other stories he or she has also written.  While Wired is a publication focused on technology, this made sense to me.


Boxes: A ruled border around a story or art.

box_2 box_1  box_3

Wired uses a couple of different types of boxes throughout its publication.  The sidebar and footer boxes are not necessarily a clear border, but rather a transparent grey box.  These boxes are used to list the titles of multiple articles and differentiate each story from one another.  They subtly indicate that there are multiple articles or stories within the section.  Wired also puts boxes around advertisements, almost as if it is a sign to readers telling them that “this is an advertisement” it seems like.  In this case though, the box is a simple, thin, black border to show that it is different than any of Wired’s other content on the page.


Reverses:  White type on a dark background, also known as a dropout.


Screen shot 2014-01-27 at 1.50.38 AM

While there are not many uses of reverses throughout the publication, they are consistently used in the navigation bar.  The section titles, which are in a white type on a black background, as well as the sub sections and article titles, which are in a white type on a dark grey background, are both primary examples of reverses on Wired’s website.  This works because it creates a “flow” of information for the reader’s eye to follow.  Moreover, it clearly guides the reader’s eyes from the section title to the sub section to the article titles since they are all stylized in a similar way.  Reverses are also used in the cutlines, as previously mentioned, with a white type on a black background.


Wraps/Skews: Text that wraps around a photo or artwork.



Rather than a photo or artwork, this article shows a snapshot of a woman’s tweet with text surrounding it.  In this example, while there is text within the snapshot, it does not distract the reader from the body text because the type is also black.  When I first glanced at the snapshot, I initially thought it was a pull quote and not a wrap/skew.  In addition, there is enough white space around the snapshot in order to clearly indicate that it is not apart of the body text.


Pull Quotes:  A graphic treatment of a quotation taken from a story, often using bold or italic type, rules or screens.


The pull quotes within the publication are stylized in a bold, sans serif, black type.  This works because it creates a stark differentiation between the body text and the quote, which it should do.  The pull quote has a rule on the top and a rule on the bottom in order to further show that the quote is separate from the body text.  Furthermore, the pull quote stands out, yet creates consistency because it is the same typeface and color as the rest of the article’s text.




One Comment

  1. You did a good job, Caitlyn. … The only thing to watch out for is to make sure you’re analyzing elements from the printed magazine, which is what you’re really supposed to be doing your study on. I don’t mind if you also include the Web component, but pleases focus on the print for now.

Comments are closed.