Being a designer at a college newspaper can be a lonely job. Students on the design team often come from different academic departments than the writers and editors, and sometimes it may feel like you speak a different language.
On a small paper the designer or art director may be the only one who understands fonts and visual hierarchy. Sometimes you may think, “If the editor asks me to put a 40 percent screen on a sidebar one more time I’m going to scream!”
So today, for you, the college newspaper designers of the world, we present a list of cyberspots where you can find solace, information and inspiration.
College Front Page--Consider this site your home away from home. Here you can browse pages from college newspapers around the country, including the professional-quality Indiana Daily Student and The State News at Michigan State University, which produces pages so beautiful you may just want to hang them up in your dorm room for decoration (like the one to the left). The site offers guest lectures and critiques (design and photo) by professionals, as well as forums and links to other design-oriented Web sites. But that’s not all. Designers and photographers can create personal Web pages on the site to showcase their work. College Front Page used to host monthly page design contests. The last one was April ’06, so they seem to be a thing of the past. But there’s still lots of other fresh, new stuff on the site so check it out.
NewsDesigner.com--This irreverent, wacky blog is written by Mark Friesen, a news designer at The Oregonian in Portland, Oregon. He’s kind of like Tim Harrower on Ecstasy, but he puts together some really cool stuff about design, drawing from newspapers all over the world.
Newseum--Want to see what the Los Angeles Times put on its front page today? How about the Manteca Bulletin or the Beijing News? In addition to promoting its new “interactive museum of news,” set to open in the first quarter of 2008, the Newseum Web site showcases the front pages of more than 500 newspapers from 52 countries. Most are updated daily, so you can see how different newspapers played the same big story. It’s a great place to look for inspiration.
News Page Designer--This message board allows designers at all levels (students and pros) to upload pages and get feedback from other designers. It's operated by Society for News Design members Tim Frank and Eric Kaiser. Students can share their work, get comments from the pros and get noticed.
Best Front Page Design--Brass Tacks Design, newspaper design consultants in Norfolk, Virginia, offers commentary and images on newspaper redesign projects. It’s a great place to learn about new trends in newspaper design. Be sure to check out the Before and After Gallery.
Tim Harrower--You gotta love this guy. His Newspaper Designer’s Handbook (the sixth edition just came out in July) is the bible for student newspaper designers everywhere and his Web site is pretty cool too, with features like The Design Doctor.
Society for News Design--The Web site for the professional association for news designers is packed with resources and sources of inspiration. Many of the events are open to students.
Student Society for News Design--The student chapter of SND at the Missouri School of Journalism hosts the annual College News Design Contest. Check out the 2007 winners.
News University--The online training arm of the Poynter Institute offers several free online courses on design, including Color in News Design, Converting to Tabloid, Mario Garcia on the WSJ Tabloid Design and Typography for News Design.