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What your daily newspaper can teach you about design

While everyone feels the newspaper industry is dying, we can still learn a lot from the way they are designed. Part of my duties as a designer is layout out newspaper. I've learned a lot that has helped me with other projects ever since I've started on that. So maybe these tips will help you just a little bit. Newspapers love bold headlines. A lot of "bad" designs are cluttered. There's too much going on. There isn't any emphasis or too many things are emphasized. The idea of a headline, subhead and body copy can extend to many forms of design. Try keeping the body copy consistent in size and type style. The headline might even be in the same font. A headline is an opportunity to use a second font, but ask yourself why you think this is appropriate and be critical of the results. Photos and captions. Newspapers often have to deal with a variety of shapes of photos and fit them into various spaces. In the past few months that I've been doing a few days of newspaper layouts each week, the more I see that the layout is a puzzle. Everything has to fit just perfectly. It's more challenging than it may at first appear. On top of that, you don't want the captions don't want to get mixed in with the body copy. Using a rule, box or just enough white space can separate the caption text from body text Keeping photos near their headlines/copy is one tip. Another is to give a lot of space around them. This can work for all kinds of design objects in your layout. There's a lot more that you might learn from newspaper design. Look at some strongly branded and well thought out newspapers. Ask what works and what doesn't

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Why you’d want to be a design volunteer

With many young designers out of school for the summer, it seems like a pretty good time to talk about volunteering. It's not just for the new designer, an experienced designer can get to do things they can't do in their regular job.
3D Cause Awareness Ribbon
Creative Commons License photo credit: lumaxart
As you hopefully know, many jobs and even internships are looking for people with some experience, a real world portfolio and professional references. The question also comes up as to how to get those things without already having some connections. Well, volunteering is a good answer. (Another might be placement agencies and your college's alumni relations office.) In the past, I've found great opportunities through Volunteer Match. They have tons of big and small opportunities. A search just now for my area found individuals, the Kennedy Center in DC and local government volunteering and charitable organizations. They also have virtual opportunities where you can help from your home computer. Being a print designer, i found volunteering to be a great way to solidify my web design skills. Many charitable organizations would love for you to give them an awesome new website. You might also think about looking through listings on Craigslist. You could also freelance for work, and sure do that too. But as a volunteer you can help out some pretty worthy causes and often get a nice letter of recommendation or thank you letter. These are great for references without the hassle of dealing with the business side of freelance.

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Get free art and design productivity tips and podcast episodes by email! We're here to help you get more made in less time.
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