Columnist confesses: 'I Read the National Enquirer!'
These subjective characterizations are a no-no in standard journalism. But they add color, life and personality to a story.
Unless you are an actual objective source of news, there’s no point in conforming to the standards of objective journalism. You have a point of view — and your donors share it. Don’t hide it. Trumpet your beliefs.
Did I say “energetic”? Maybe I should say “messy” or “crazy.” Whatever you call it, the Enquirer’s design is a kind of frenetic Times Square in print. Here are some of the ways it plays out:
● Hot and contrasting colors. Strong yellows and reds, especially. These draw the eye and create a sense of heat, motion and importance. That’s what gives the Enquirer its signature lowbrow look. The visual cacophony it creates probably is inappropriate for most nonprofits. But the tasteful, muted colors favored by nonprofits these days have the problematic feature of making them so visually dull that it’s hard for readers to be interested in reading them.
● Huge type. I mean HUGE. Some Enquirer headlines go beyond 100-point type, dominating their pages. It’s the visual equivalent of a blaring siren. You will pay attention to it.
● Flexible layout. While most Enquirer spreads maintain a grid, the rules are stretched to the breaking point. Headlines are sometimes below their stories. Type is over photos (headlines are more often over photos than not). Photos frequently are tilted at a slight angle, giving the sense that they are “snapshots.” Photos also are often cut out or cropped to unusual shapes, or even with “torn” edges. I wouldn’t recommend most of these techniques; you have to be a super ace designer to do stuff like that and not end up with an unreadable stew. And, well, it’s very tacky.