on page 1 and extend them on to page 2 that the
photographs run across the gutter. Thus unity is
maintained by using a "Banner" type of headline, a
large copy block, and photographs.
Contrast is achieved in a layout by using different
picture sizes and shapes. This helps add interest and
drama to the layout. It also aids the reader's flow
through each element to improve communication.
Lead, Body, and End Pictures
When you are laying out a page that is dominated
by photographs, such as a picture story or picture
essay, the selection and number of pictures should be
determined by the importance and complexity of the
story. Of course, the amount of space you have to lay
out the story is a factor. However, no matter how
important or complex the story may be, your basic
picture requirements remain the same. Every story
must have a beginning, a middle, and an ending.
Additionally, every layout should have one large
dominant photograph to grasp the attention of the
viewer. Other photographs used in your layout should
not exceed 50 percent of the size of the dominant
photograph. The two most important pictures again
are the lead and the end photographs. Besides having
the necessary stopping power to attract the attention of
the reader and creating the desire to know more about
the subject, the lead picture should give the reader a
hint as to what the story is about. In other words, the
lead photograph performs the same function as the
opening paragraph in a written news story. The end
photograph should help the reader to see the signifi-
cance of the story, summarize it, and bring it to a
logical conclusion. The remaining photographs in a
story should consist of a variety of sizes, shapes, long
shots, medium shots, and close-ups. Their task is to
maintain the interest that is built up by the lead and
carry it throughout the story until the end shot is
reached The body photographs, like the middle of
any story, are the "meat" of the whole statement that
you are trying to make and should not disappoint the
Layout Space and Editing
The space allowed for a story, for the most part,
is predetermined. Military newspapers, as well as
civilian publications, retain their page size issue after
issue. The board on which you mount your display
prints may also limit the size of your layout.
Therefore, your story must fit the space allowed and
not vice versa.
It has already been stated that the lead and end
photographs are the two most important. This does
not mean, however, that when you go out on an
assignment you should have a predetermined lead and
an end shot in mind. On the contrary, the lead and
end photographs are selected from the overall
coverage. Once the story is shot, you screen the
proofs and select the photographs. Always choose the
lead picture first. Next, choose the end picture. After
selecting the lead and end pictures, choose the body
pictures. After all the photographs have been selected,
edit them so only those that are absolutely necessary
for telling the story remain.
The editing process must be cold and objective.
Forget the fact that you may have hung by one toe
from a 100-foot flag pole to obtain a certain shot. If
the shot does not fit or is not essential, then it has no
place in the story. During the editing process, you
should select only those pictures that are valuable
communication symbols when arranged in a logical
and story-telling manner.
After you have selected the lead, end, and body
pictures, you should then make a thumbnail sketch to
determine picture placement and size.
There is a certain amount of aesthetics involved in
a layout. After gaining experience by doing a few
layouts, you tend to "feel" your way. Nevertheless,
there must be a starting point. For the most part, it is
All elements, titles, subtitles, pictures, copy, and
white space should be aligned with one or more of the
other elements on the page or pages. This system of
aligning elements, or the "buddy" system as it is
called, is another way of saying that margins must be
established and maintained throughout the layout.
From the very beginning, you must establish a definite
set of margins to provide consistency from element to
element and from page to page.
Layout is second in importance only to the story
content; like the frame on a picture, it can make or
break your work. For it to be effective, it requires
skill, imagination, and painstaking care.