Editors and designers: Here’s a quick tip to ensure you’re giving headlines the space and weight that they deserve.
Take the number of columns the headline spans PLUS the number of lines of headline. That should total no more than five.
So, for example:
is 1 column + 4 lines = 5. ALL GOOD! How about our lead headline?
City Council approves
developer plan to tear
down Central Library
That’s 3 columns + 3 lines = 6. Uh-oh. Time to redesign.
These headlines were in this week’s paper. Using this trick as a guideline can do a few things: Establish headline hierarchy through size and spacing, encourage different head specs for stories and pages, and help your creativity.
Try it. You’ll see.