MOST OF US KNOW what a “TMC” is. TMC stands for “total market coverage,” and it’s that product you occasionally offer to advertisers with the promise that it will be delivered to every household in a specific area. But then there’s the “TMR” and it’s very different from a TMC. The TMR is an ad much like the one above. Terrible use of color. Even worse design. It’s cluttered, it has no dominant art, it has a bazillion type faces, it’s over-designed. It’s just a mess. But…the advertiser really likes it. No matter how many times you’ve consulted with her, no matter how many spec ads you’ve created for her, no matter how many other, better ads you’ve shown her…she really likes this ad. And you’ve come to realize she’s not going to change her mind. That’s when you do what you need to do: Give up and give in, and do a TMR: Take the Money and Run.
EVERY TIME I SEE a headline with a stroke or outline, I’m transported back to the 1970s, when outlined type fonts were popular. Well, pet rocks and mood rings were popular then, too—but you don’t see those around anymore. Let’s drag ourselves—kicking and screaming if necessary—into the 21st Century. From now on, when you’re considering the use of a stroked headline, put the past 40 years aside and use a drop shadow on that head instead. Drop shadows are more “with it” and classier. And who wouldn’t want to be “with it” and classy?
IN SOME NEWSPAPERS, the space between lines of headlines is too tight. In others, that space is too loose. In still others, the spacing is inconsistent. Often, the reason is that editors and designers can’t agree on the proper headline spacing. Should it be four points more than the headline size? Six points? Eight? And what if the headline is more than 60 points: Should the spacing then be at least 10 points more?
I used to struggle with those questions.
Now, my default headline spacing is a percentage: 110% of Auto Leading, to be precise. I set that as my default measure in InDesign (shortcut: Shift+Option+Command+J) and I find it works well overall for most page designs. Once I set that up, I use it in all headline style sheets. If a headline’s spacing is a bit off, for example, because a line lacks descenders, then you can always adjust with some baseline shifting.
Give it a shot. The 110% solution may just do the trick for you, too!
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YOU MAY HAVE SEEN THIS IDEA BEFORE. I have—but that doesn’t make it any less fun.
Many more years ago than I care to remember, I first saw foldovers in the pages of MAD Magazine. It was an enticing idea then…and it still is now. Designer Justin Jackson at YES! Weekly in Greensboro, NC, decided to try a foldover for the Valentine’s Day issue. At the top of the page is a note telling readers how to make it work, by folding the cover until the hand on the right almost touches the hand on the left. A bit tricky with the typography, but it comes off well. Easy. Fun. Memorable. Score all three points for Justin and YES! Weekly.
NO, THEY DON’T PAY ME FOR THIS. And I don’t get a commission. But here’s a tool I recommend to all of you: the Flux Consulting InDesign Eyedropper tool. It’s a real time-saver for InDesign users working on Macs (sorry, PC users). With it, you can pick up colors, formatting and styles without switching tools. You access the Eyedropper tool by holding down the Control + Option keys, allowing you to pick up formatting for your text or objects. Once the keys are released, you’re back in the previous tool. Eyedropper is a bit pricey at about $32.95 for the InDesign 6 version. Eyedropper also is available for InDesign 1 through CS5, at varying prices. Given the cost, I’m hoping Adobe will soon find a way to incorporate the Flux tool into an upgrade. But even at $32.95, I find it’s a tool that pays for itself over and over again. How much is your time worth to you?