Follow Me on Pinterest
@sketchee on Twitter
Android Apps

TriviaToy is a new trivia ecosystem for Android. New features, questions and categories are being added constantly. The goal is to have a great user interface, fun user generated content, and social features. Maybe learn something in the process!

Blog Categories

SKETCHEE IDEAS: A Creativity Blog

Entries in graphic design (50)


Publications Vocabulary You Might Not Know

Working in publishing, it feels there are always new terms to learn everyday. Here are some terms used for magazines, newspapers, books and other publications with definitions that are a bit more obscure to those outside of the business.

There's a few about newspaper sizes which have a large effect on perception by it's audiences and each format has unique design challenges.

Barn door cover
Also known as a split front cover, the barn door cover opens up with two flaps meeting at the center of a magazine cover with advertising on the inside.

A bellyband is a printed wrapper on the outside of a magazine or book. It usually has an advertisement on it. The name might help you imagine it. It's usually less than the full height of the publication and must be removed to read the magazine.

The berliner newspaper format isn't common here in the US. It's wider and taller than a compact or tabloid newspaper and folded in half vertically like a broadsheet. European newspapers tend to have greater innovation than the American market, and their doing much better economically than the US industry. This might be attributed to the greater number of commuters using public transport and the more newspapers competing in each jurisdiction increasing the perceived need to innovate. While American newspapers are competing against the internet and other news sources, the publishers seem less reactive in areas where only there is one dominant newspaper.

This is the largest of the newspaper formats. The page size is typically over 22" in height. These large newspapers are becoming less common due to the cost of printing such large pages. The half fold of the format is what gives us the "above the fold" term that we use in web. Stories with more importance are placed above the fold for display purposes. Examples of the broadsheet format would include The Washington Post and Baltimore Sun which happen to be my area's local papers.

"Le Monde is in the Berliner format. The Guardian is in the British broadsheet format, whereas the Daily Mail is a tabloid, and the Times a compact. Berliner Zeitung and Neues Deutschland are of sizes between broadsheet and Berliner. A piece of white A4 paper is placed in front for scale." Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Center spread
The term center spread can refer to a double truck—facing pages of full editorial content, the feature story in the center of a publication which could consist of several double trucks or it can refer to a double truck that "jumps the gutter—there are elements that are printed across both pages including the center margin.

[[Column inch]]
A colmun inch is a newspaper or magazine measurement referring to the width of the text column by a height of one inch. Since these publications use a design grid so heavily, it simplifies things to use column inches to determine story length and advertising space. There are generally about 25-35 words in a column inch depending on the publications size and set up.

As opposed to broadsheet, the compact newspaper has a much shorter height. The height is about halved. The format tends to have shorter stories due to its size, but it's also considered much easier to read and handle. Compacts have become popular for publications designed for commuter train/bus travel. These tend to be smaller than even the tabloid format. It's more common in the United Kingdom than anywhere else. My local compact is the Express which is a news aggregated digest produced by the Washington Post.

Credit line
The credit line refers to the citing of photo sources.

Display advertising
As opposed to the commonly known text based classified ads, display advertising is the more heavily design oriented advertising. Display ads typically should emphasize photographs and design elements more heavily than text. The reality is that clients don't often understand the difference between classifieds and display, so it is up to the designer and sales staff to communicate these aesthetical differences. Display ads are traditionally placed next to editorial content. Classifieds tend to be sectioned off since they are text which could cause confusion. Billboards and signs are also considered display advertising.

On the web, the term display advertising is more and more often being used to refer to advertising that relies on the traditional print payment scheme: page views (called circulation in print) rather than click throughs.

A double truck is two facing pages of a publication that contains no advertising, just editorial photos, design and writing.

This is a mockup or layout of a page. It could just contain a setup of several pages of the publication outlining what images and text should be put on one pages. It could also be a more specific sketch outlining the layout within the page.

A folio can refer to a single sheet of paper forming two pages in a publications' binding. It can also refer to the publication info printed on the bottom or top of a page including the page number. Newspapers and magazines often include the publication name and date in their folio line.

Full bleed
A full bleed is a page that is printed and then cut off to have ink going right to the edge of the publication.

A gatefold is a flap inside of the cover that opens up allowing for a fold out advertisement.

This is the center margin where two pages meet in a publication.

A jump is a split in a story. Whenever you see a newspaper or magazine say that a story is continued to or from somewhere else in the publication, that would be a jump. The actual text explaining where to go or where you came from is a jump line. Jumps can be due to ad placement or just to place more stories closer to the front of the publications. Newspapers can fit more stories on their front page by jumping them.

This is when a story, part of a story or an advertisement are removed from a publication and will not be printed in a future edition. If it's going to be printed in a later edition, then it would be "held" or put on "hold"

[[Masthead (publishing)|Masthead]]
While many people mistakenly think that the mast head is the logo of the newspaper, the term actucally refers to the editorial staff box.

Open Page
This is a page in a publication that has no advertising, just editorial content.

Tabloid is a small newspaper size like a compact. They can be as large as 17x11", but there are smaller formats as well. The company I work for just released a new tabloid format the almost square size of 11.5" tall by 11" wide. I'm designing the "Back to School" publication through the company at this new size this fall, in fact. The tabloid format is traditionally reserved for weekly publications and less breaking news, however with the cost of newsprint becoming increasingly prohibitive the tabloid format is catching on

Lending a Hand

I don't know if I'd call it a perk of my job, but I had my hand in the last cover photo of Maryland Family Magazine. It's a pretty odd task, but when the art director asked for my help, I thought why not. Is it wierd that they needed a child's hand and that mine is kinda convincing?

Cover photo from Maryland Family Magazine. Photo by Justin Kase Hand by Brian E. Young

Sorry if you looked at the magazine's website. I'm sure a redesign updating it from the 1991 look will come really soon.

I don't have a problem going outside of my job description. Let's see ... I've decorated for Christmas, designed birthday cards, saw the movie 300 and I can't even remember what else happens at work. I've seen coworkers have such great work tasks as filling a room with balloons (that didn't go over so well with the boss), babysitting and everyone loves a good museum trip. Have you ever had any strange odd jobs at work?

Tons of Great T-shirt Design Stuff

T-shirts are a pretty cool form of expression. They can look like anything. They can be inspiring. They can define you as a person. Sometimes they're a bit too casual , but they can have an upscale feel with the right design. Here's a look at some t-shirts, followed up with some links to t-shirt design tutorials and galleries so you can get more shirty goodness.

This is one of my favorites. I love the colors and asymmetrical design

Jenga fans? Or construction workers?

"A is for Apple" it says. It's a print of a hand painted ink art piece translated into a pretty interesting t-shirt.

Running with scissors

In the eye of the beholder. I don't know if I like the image itself, but I like the way its done.

Conezor? Just wierd. We all do scream for ice scream

Wasn't [[There Will Be Blood]] an odd movie?

As much as I love color, I couldn't resist this long sleeve shirt. It's just a cool high constrast design.

Paint by Numbers. For the artist in every nonartist. Or if you just remember paint by numbers stuff.

I'm not a weiner. Just a fun style and much like the others on here

A vintage woodstock poster on a shirt. Very cool image

Design your own

Here are a few pages about designing your own shirts that I found. I definitely want to do more shirt design, these things help inspire me to get started. Posting things here sure makes it easier for me to find things again when I need them...
Designing Ultra SceneXCore Apparel!
From Sketch to Vector Illustration

Intricate Patterns in Illustrator

Want to see more t-shirts?

Troundup. The T-shirt Lovers Blog.
Busted Tees
Ten Bills (T-shirts for only $10 or less)
A T-Shirt Reviewer Reviews T-Shirt Review Sites!

Remixing Radiohead on Old Tech

James Houston brings us Big Ideas. It's the Radiohead song, played on old computer equipment. It's great to see people think way outside of the box. The idea of this remix is to illustrate how something can be more than what they were designed for. That's an inspiring sentiment and makes for a nice art piece.

Big Ideas (don't get any) from James Houston on Vimeo.

Want more Radiohead? Read about my trip to their Nissan Pavilion Concert

Defrag Your Designs

On some level you probably want your designs to be accessible and efficient. Even if you have a more complicated or detailed design, there should be a simpler structure supporting it. Inspired by a Lifehacker post on office organization as unlikely as it sounds, I've come up with a few ideas that might help in your self-critique:

Group related items together. A grouping of things becomes a single thing. If you have a choice—loften the client or whoever will want things a specific way—move things around. Can any two ideas be links together? This might mean putting some text together, but it could also mean grouping things into a single design. You may have a heading and a subheading which you've somehow connected into a single design element. Or in web design, the group of navigational items into a bar is a pretty common example. A logo is another thing that is usually a collection of design elements into a single thing. Several designs might have to exist on a single page. Ever notice how a page of newspaper editorial may have to deal with several stories, infoboxes and images on a single page? Some newspapers feel cluttered and others combine and simplify the elements to show just about the same amount of information without looking so overwhelming.

Newspapers often have to group several stories on one page. Notice how the colored blurb boxes are their own little designs, but function as a single element in the grand scheme of it. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Create a landing strip. The idea of a focal point seems like a no brainer, but many new designers miss it. Working in advertising design, it wasn't unusual to see an advertisement that didn't have a clear headline among the tons of starbursts, images, colors and boxes. If I got the chance to redesign, the first thing I did was to make something big (or use some other eye catching technique) for impact. Maybe every bit of information in your project is just as important and needs to be bolded, boxed and starbursted ... But just pick one if you want them to get to the rest. Blogs often do this with their attention grabbing headers, although you've probably seen all the variations of it.

You didn't forget white space, did you? In your final checks, don't overlook white space. We all obsess about it and then you go and fill it all up. You don't have room in your design for white space, you cry! Well, it's much better to make things smaller than to have everything looking overwhelmingly cramped in. Especially if it actually is cramped in there. In our newspaper example, leaving things out isn't much of an option so it's most important here to give things some room.