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Tips for Page Layout Design with InDesign

11 Jan

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In coming the exciting (or not) page design test for all print students! Below are some tips I summed up according to our previous sessions with Malvin. However, this may also interest those who intend to design their own pages with InDesign.

Front page (some are also applied to the inside page design):

  1. Save the work on the local computer, not even on the server! Back it up on your flash drive.
  2. Don’t put two fancy fonts together.
  3. Don’t make the column too wide – it will make reading slow.
  4. Break up long columns with quotes, pictures or something else.
  5. Different articles must be clearly identified – not necessarily with an actual line.
  6. Don’t put too many drop caps – it will make it like a magazine.
  7. About tint. > 50%, put on dark-coloured words; < 50%, put on light coloured words.
  8. Picture captions are usually SMALLER than the body font (£9), and in BOLD.
  9. Don’t put too many pictures with heads together on the same page.
  10. Newspaper body copy usually starts high then goes low, or stays level.
  11. Spaces are okay, but don’t put it in the middle.
  12. The colour RED tends to come to you; while the colour BLUE tends to leave you.
  13. Don’t put too many panels on the front page.
  14. Mix up pictures with different SIZEs.

Inside page (some are also applied to the front page design):

  1. Try not to make pictures “sit” on the advertisement.
  2. Guide reader’s eyes from the main story, to the 2nd, then the 3rd. The main story is usually made prominent by including bigger box, big headline, bigger-sized pictures, etc.
  3. Mix things up. If you are making changes (differences), make it big and prominent. (colour, size, capital/lower case, justified/unjustified, bold/light, etc .)
  4. Mix different decks of headlines. 3 decks with 2 decks and 1 deck.
  5. If you have two pictures with heads on the same page, make sure they have similar height from the chin to the head top.
  6. Don’t leave gaps between paragraphs.
  7. Don’t leave a single word at the ending line of an introduction (aka a “widow” or “orphan”).
  8. The colour should be SUBTLE, otherwise it will be too distracting.
  9. Balance positions of pictures, don’t put all pictures on the same side.
  10. Avoid two points of picture frames (squares) point to each other.

Feedbacks from practices

  1. Mix WARM and COLD colours.
  2. Newspaper uses eye breaks every around 200mm, otherwise the words will seem too intense.
  3. Make visual impacts via creating CONTRADICTs.
  4. Don’t chop off the chin in a picture.
  5. Font size for broadsheets: 70; for tabloids: 140.
  6. Keep pictures away from advertisements.
  7. Mix up different picture sizes and shapes.
  8. Prioritize stories.
  9. Body: 3mm intended, except for the first paragraph.
  10. Don’t break words in the heading.
  11. Don’t stretch the photo.

The UK on Ireland: Help You to Help Me

22 Nov

My neighbour is in trouble. He will go bankrupt if not being helped. I need to pay a great fortune to help him out, and this move may hurt me a lot. People are saying that this could be a stupid move. I hesitate.

This is not some kind of help coming out of nowhere. I make my decision based on my rationality. I should help my neighbour especially when he is closely related to my own incoming. If I do not give him a favour, the next casualty could be me. I decide.

The UK government has agreed to participate in a bail-out project costing 7 billion pounds, according the BBC, to save its neighbour Irish Republic out of the threat of bankcrupcy.

Considering the intimacy of the two countries in many aspects, it is a smart move, maybe in a long term.

Your business is also mine

In terms of international trading, the Irish Republic is among the most important partners of the UK.

For a long time the UK is exporting its goods and services to Ireland as a crucial part of its economy. Actually the trade with Ireland is so important that according to the BBC, it outmaneuvres the sum-up amount of UK’s trade with Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Britain's paying pounds to save Ireland

Maybe you are not doing business with any Irish people directly, but on average every man and woman in Ireland are contributing £3,607 each year on British goods and services.

A fall of such a partner will also mean serious damage on the incoming of the UK through trading.

Tracking back to the period after the Second World War, the Americans have done a similar favour to the Europe with the Marshall Plan.

Helping a close neighbour in terms of economy is also helping ourselves. The post-war US economy may not be that healthy if just standing by and seeing the Europe dying.

Giving out help in a time of austerity

Britain is still suffering from economic problems although The Times contended in January this year that it has just exited the longest recession.

Sellers at the Christmas market in Hyde Park are still worrying about their sale in winter. And this is already November.

But the help still needs to be conducted to prevent things from going even worse, although 7 billion pounds may sound a great figure.

Of course this move is still open to question especially personages like John Redwood believe that the UK should not be part of the bailout plan as it is “not Britain’s problems”, according to The Telegraph.

It is true to some extent, but an even more prominent fact is that nobody will escape from an economic failure of any country as long as the process of globalization is moving forward rather than retreating.

Travellers Keep Plans to Germany Despite Terrorism Threat

17 Nov

Itineraries in Germany are not influenced although terrorist attacks are said to take place in the end of November.

Germany holds information that Islamic radicals plan to execute attacks, putting Christmas tourism under significant threat.

However travellers tend to keep their initial plans to go to Germany, taking terrorist attacks as a lesser serious factor.

“My journey won’t be changed,” says Xudong Zeng, a Chinese student in the UK who has planned to go to Germany during Christmas holiday, “Nobody knows what will really happen. As a matter of fact, living the world itself contains a lot of fatal threats.”

Zeng seems to be echoed by Zheng Zhou, who intends to travel to Germany in Easter holiday next year. “It won’t affect my intention to go to Germany. Of course there will be some worry about it, but not much. ” Zhou says.

Move of government

German tourism under threat of terrorism

The German government has strengthened the security at airports and stations in response of possible attacks.

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told the BBC today that the strengthened security would be in practice “until further notice”.

The quick reaction of the German government helps keep travellers’ confidence in the security situation of their coming journey.

Xudong Zeng said that she was less worried about the terrorist attack because of the extra security in transporting hubs in Germany.

She also said that she now took terrorism in a much less serious way because she was previously warned by the media that there would be attacks in the UK, but nothing serious have ever happened since then.

The Europe has been plagued by terrorist attacks since October. Germany and France are under severe threat of terrorism.

UK travellers were warned by the Foreign Office as the threat level over Europe was raised from “general” to “high” in October.

As a main tourist destination during Christmas, Germany attended the World Travel Market which took place from 8th to 11th of November in London.

The Girl with A Travelling Heart and A Camera

8 Nov

* Below is my work after a killing afternoon. Once I felt that I hated these two teachers. Now I realize that they were just trying to simulating the situation in a real newsroom. I love this job even more now.


She sits down wearing her scalf, holding her camera. Adjusting herself to the chair indicates her abundant energy. “Let’s get started.” She said.

Rashmi Narayan, journalism student at the University of Westminster, lives with an energetic heart and her pictures.

A travelling heart

Rashimi never stops travelling. The rest of the world is just so tempting that she cannot resist the allure. “I like running out.” She says with a big and proud smile.

“I tend to go extreme. I’d like to go to either very big cities or somewhere that nobody has ever been there before.” Says Rashmi with a serious attitude. For her, places like London and some anonymous Pacific island bear the same interest.

Rashmi Narayan with her camera in the newsroom

She is a huge fan of big cities. Coming from Bangalore, India, which in her words is a “small city”, she is keen to explore metropolis in the world.

She appears to be quite exited trip to the United States during the Christmas holiday, but she soon turns disappointed when she knows that New York is not on her route. Instead she will go to Texas to meet her sister.

“I have many friends there,” says Rashmi on her trip to Texas with detectable disappoint, “It is boring, not festive and there is nothing colourful”.

“Bangalore is not a big city. Bangalore has no life. I love city with life. People are saying that Bangalore is a good city, and there are so many things there. But I’d rather to leave it there.” Rashmi loves Bangalore as the place where she was born but not as the place to explore.

She finds her passion in big cities because there are many opportunities for her, ranging from technology to arts and entertainments.

Also because she is a student, she tries to grab every chance to embrace the rest of the world before starting her career.

She says :“I’d like to gain experience that I can take home when I am still young. When you are working, there is no time. I can make time for this, but it’s not free. When you are a student, you don’t have many responsibilities to bear. ”

She fancies enriching her knowledge and conception through travelling. She always goes to a place with a certain notion, but sometimes the destination can also let her down.

The trip to Egypt seems like that destination. She says: “People there don’t know much about Egypt. They can show me the direction of some place if I ask. But when I ask something about the Sphinx, they don’t know about it.” That is the experience that actually changes rather than enriching  her notion about a place.

“Camera is my life.”

Asking about the only thing that she will take out of the room when there is the fire alarm, Rashmi named her camera.

To her, pictures can help her recording memory. She says: “Every picture speaks to me. With a camera, I can see the pictures again and again.”

However according her it seems not a domain to start a career. “Many people people have talked about this to me. But when it becomes your profession, people start to expect much from you. It is more free as a hobby”, says Rashmi with a smile on her face, again.

Life with a (grand)mother

27 Oct

It’s a Sunday afternoon. 5-year-old Eliza is playing with a woman whose wrinkles reveal her 72 years of experience. They are all laughing happily. What a harmonious picture. “Mum, ” says Eliza, “Let’s go back home”. Wait, freeze frame. Mum?

Yes, mum. Adriana Iliescu from Romania gave birth to her daughter five years ago when she was 66 years old, which is far from a usual age when a mother sees her first baby. Now Eliza is 7, she may start to expect for a brother/sister, as her mother wants to have another child. This is 2010and Ms. Iliescu is 72.

How does it feel to have a mother who can be other people’s grandmother judging by the age? I say it could be really happy, as old people are usually quite mild in temper and good at taking care of others. Till today I still remember those golden days with my grandmother who passed away four years ago.But not for the lifetime.

Having a mother whose age is so unusual could mean living under severe peer pressure. We all have the experience of being mocking by some unusual elements of us when we were still kids. Children from primary schools cannot be assumed to bear enough consciousness of other people’s pain inside.

What if the mother dies tomorrow? Of course we hope that this happy family can last longer. But it is also difficult to ignore the fact that the mother is more likely to die first. What will happen to little Eliza, if she does not even pass 18?

Ms. Iliescu told Daily Mail two years ago that “in Romania, people who have children are very admired”. Of course we cannot judge a woman’s right to have child especially when “medically, it’s possible” as Ms. Iliescu says to the Guardian. But it can be cruel for Eliza.

A new flavour of journalism (Article posted on 18 October 2010, transferred from another blog)

19 Oct

Journalism is a broad subject, under which there are many specialists, such as sports, travel, business and so forth. Just like selling normal goods, there is a trend of pursuing a niche market, which guarantees that everyone get what he/she wants. So is the situation for journalism. An important part of journalism is to sell news, e.g. to attract readers in order to reach as many people as possible. This may be why there are so many different specialists under the subject of journalism.

Today we’ve been introduced a new way of writing stories. Today’s subject is lifestyle journalism. I myself am even not sure what lifestyle is, but one thing that I am sure is that it is everywhere in our life.

For journalists, it is important to notice that the way of writing and structuring a story is quite different form that of a news story or even a news feature. Concerning lifestyle writing, you must show your passion with attractive words. Impartiality and fairness can sometimes even be compromised, which can not be imaged in the context of news writing.

I would say that to write articles with a different style is really a funny thing. To taste this new flavour of journalism is like to find a brand new part of my brain.

Below is my work in the class, which may probably make some sense. In this article I covered the Portobello Market, one of London’s most famous market and a tourist spot now.

Copyright held by the blogger.                                                                                             Pitcure copyright held by the blogger.

Are you bored on Saturday? Then going to one of London’s most famous (and some say the world famous!) markets is a good choice. Every Saturday form 8 am to 5 pm, London’s Portobello market will never let you down. Get ready for a feast for your eyes, nose and even those greedy taste buds!

It is better be a clear and sunny day, as you will not want to ruin your good mood – though this does not happen regularly in London.

So now we have a good weather. What else? Probably patience, but sometimes we also need tolerance. Portobello market is growing almost as a tourist spot. The bright side is the atmosphere of every Saturday on the Portobello Road will be incredibly fantastic. But the dark side is, you almost cannot avoid floods of people.

Then comes the shining part of the market. If you are a fan of boutiques that sell various goods, then Portobello market is your paradise. From books to cooking wares, from paintings to leather products, you name it. If you are just a window shopper, it might even be too dazzling.

Now you’ve seen loads of interesting boutiques. It’s time for some refreshments. Foods and drinks are never in short on Saturday’s Portobello Road. Something that is worthy to try is the Spanish paella. Choices can be made between chicken and seafood flavour, either of which will simply bring your stomach into heaven.

What about some street show? Street artists bring their original work to the market, enriching the atmosphere with some sounds of Muses.

Answering the call of nature can be a small problem at Portobello Market. Public toilets do exist but normally they are either hard to be found or far away. A tip is to try to go to those bars at the street side.

Up is down (Article posted on 12 October 2010, transferred from another blog)

19 Oct

Like in the movie The Pirates of the Caribbeans, only when Captain Jack Sparrow sees the world in another way and understands that up is down, can he save his crew and the Black Pearl out of the end of the world. The same idea can be applied to the progress of a student from the academia towards journalism. This is what I have learned today, a big lesson.

Two years ago, when I came to the UK the first time as an exchange student, I found it really difficult to get used to the life in an European country, which was totally different from what I was familiar with. It took me practically three to four weeks to put myself on the right track. It was a long and tough progress. Now I discover that it is even a longer and tougher progess for me to adapt to a totally different study pattern.

As a journalist, you need to ask, to explore, to learn by doing, and of course, to be ready for feeling frustration. For a person who is not that outgoing, this is really hard. Last week on high street I tried to ask a Liverpool fan about his comment on the club, I learned my first lesson: “Sorry, I’m busy.”

Things becomes even worse when you are surrounded by people who used to work in he industry. All their activeness and passion are what I need. Furthermore, the peer pressure is just something that you cannot ignore.After all, we all need to try finding a job.

But just as a good journalist should do when confronting with difficulties, what to do for the next step is get a way around it. And there is always a way.

Hello world!

19 Oct

Welcome to This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

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