Field Notes — Words, V-P

On the inside pages, heads are mostly always summary heads– with the exception of A1 and section front pages, which fluctuate between hammer heads and summaries with extended subheads. The inside pages are serious, hard-news oriented in the old tradition of newspapers. With section heads, designers are allowed a little creative freedom not all papers have, which conveys a more conversational tone.

Hammer head, A1

Summary head, A3

Pull quotes all have a specific style with an enlarged quotation mark, credit below the quote and consistent typography, but the shape and form changes with the article’s layout. It’s used to break up monotony of text and focuses on enhancing white space, instead of adding color or boxes to the layout.

Pull quote

Cutlines and captions follow a specific style as well, though they range from short, one-line sentences to extended explanations of a picture or illustration. They tend to focus on what’s happening in the image, or adding extraneous detail from the story.

This caption pulls detail from the story to enhance the reader’s comprehension of the image

Bylines and credit lines have little frills to them. In true newspaper style they are austere in appearance and tone. As a larger circulation paper, they drop the writer’s email and instead specify that it’s a local story by writing the publication’s name below the writer’s. This is to distinguish local and wire stories.


Promos, especially those found on A1, tend to be short, newsy blurbs below the fold and more lengthy, conversational pieces with artistic direction above. Here’s an example.

Below the fold, the paper juxtaposes a short brief with short teasers (just a headline and quick sentence)

Above the fold, the paper is able to couple an illustration with the story, and jump it to an inside page where the layout is more conventional

The Pilot uses light, all-lowercase sans serif type for its section heads, which gives a sleek, modern feel. Compared to the traditional serif approach to section heads, this feels more creative and artistically directed.

The Pilot’s word news section

Overall, the paper marries the traditional newspaper approach with modern design principles. This gives the reader the feeling that he or she is reading a serious news publication that’s more progressive in terms of typography and design. The dual approach breathes life into the traditional news format and pushes creativity within newspaper boundaries.