A Word on Page Design and Webpage Design

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve had the opportunity to spend time with a few different page designers at The News Tribune.

Page Designer Carmen Dybdahl, a 22-year News Tribune veteran who is responsible for designing the front page and local news sections, has been my main mentor since the start of my internship. Recently, I’ve branched out a bit to see what page designers do in other sections.

I sat with Homepage Editor Kate McEntee for a few hours to get a taste of web page design. Many of Kate’s tasks were intriguing to me, such as updating The News Tribune’s twitter feeds and facebook page. During the time I interned alongside her, she was also on the phone with a reporter who was on site at the Eatonville home when 75 animals were removed due to unsafe conditions. Read more: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2010/06/03/1211296/animals-removed-from-eatonville.html?storylink=mirelated#ixzz0tgSwBUAH. This direct communication was pretty exciting to me, but I guess this is not the usual format for adapting news stories for the online version (this was a breaking news story exception).

I was a bit surprised to find that the design aspect of the web page is much less exciting than print design. In general, the stories and headlines are placed in a pre-set home page. Granted, multimedia stories or great shots make the homepage more interesting, but coming from a design point of view there’s not a whole lot of creativity involved. Yet despite the lack of design imagination involved, I can envision myself having a job similar to Kate’s someday. Not only does my practical side realize that webpage design is likely the future, I hope that newspaper webpage design will require increasingly creativity as it continues to take center stage as our main news source.

I’ve also had the opportunity to work in the sports section with Sports Designer Liz Wishaw! A fellow Midwesterner and outdoors enthusiast, Liz has been wonderful to work with and very generously took the time to show me the ins and outs of page design in the ever-complicated Hermes InDesign program.

It’s funny to look back on my trial and error ventures into page design at the Puget Sound student newspaper, The Trail. While we use the same InDesign program, the process was relatively simple compared to TNT’s. Yet I’m getting the hang of things at The News Tribune, and I’m working on a fun sports layout project as my internship comes to a close.

Aside from my internship, the city of destiny (Tacoma, of course!) has much to offer in the summer. Although I also stayed here last summer for an editorial internship at South Sound Magazine, I didn’t realize the extent of Tacoma’s attractions. Perhaps because I’m departing for study abroad in Chile quite soon, I’ve dedicated myself to a summer of fun festivities. From Taste of Tacoma to Mount Rainier to the Olympic National Forest, I’ve happily hiked, biked, and eaten my way through the first couple months of summer. Note to all loggers who’ve never spent a summer in Tacoma: You don’t know what you’re missing!

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