Critique with Tamara Zellars Buck from Southeast Missouri State University

By: Khoa Tran

It was nice meeting with Ms. Buck. She gave us critique for The Signal Vol. 85 No. 8 and The Signal Vol. 85 No. 10. It was helpful listening to another advisor from different school. Some of the things she said are the things that I should know myself.

  • Great cover design
  • Blotter: try to fix the extra space by adding more contents or an in house ad. Don’t do weekly weather for the space.
  • Photo of the week: Make sure to zoom in the main scene in the photo, so it looks more interesting. Too much background is boring and takes up too much space. Put a white box behind the text to make it easy to read on top of the photo.
  • News you can use: She asked us if we get pay from this ad, if not ask them for a favor. 
  • Photos: Don’t always crop out photos, it looks nice for sports, but something we need to ask for photographers permission.
  • Sidebars: the style needs to be consistent throughout. Simplify the information for infographic. Give credits for people who design infographic. 
  • Color coded flags of each sections make it hard for designers to match colors while designing.
  • Try to stay away from using clip art photograph to take up space, it’s not good.
  • Design need to have a purpose. Stay simple. 
  • Cutline: Cutline and byline looks weird. They need to stay closer to each other. 
  • Headline and subhead: these need to stay next to the body text, so move the photo on the top. Have more variation throughout like the L shape layout so it’s easy to distinguish each story.
  • Why Halloween story for Oct. 10.
  • Nice calendar format for 16 pages issue
  • Letter to the editor: add a note like how the reader can submit their opinions. 
  • Make sure edit photo for African American, because the photo looks bad in black and white print.
  • Junk page look too busy. 

I will bring this up to my production team and other teams to make The Signal better next semester.