Institute of Commercial Management | Qualification Subject

Sub-editing & Design

Main Topics of Study

Traditional approaches

  • The development of newspapers and the role of the designer and sub-editor
  • Importance of design and page layout – and the main stages of development

The Digital Revolution

  • Phase 1 – the arrival of computers in newspapers – the non-manual typewriter era
  • Phase 2 – the pagination era
  • The main players in the digital revolution – Aldus Pagemaker, Quark Xpress, InDesign – and their main features, foibles and failures

Editorial Production

  • The structure of the newsroom
  • The traditional roles – copytaster and sub editor
  • Core skills for the sub-editor

Text and Text Editing

  • Basic parts of speech – referring back to English for journalists unit – essential sub-editing
  • Sticking to the facts
  • producing effective copy

Publication Style

  • Defining audiences and audience needs
  • Usage
  • Paper
  • Colour
  • Page structure
  • House styles
  • Typefaces
  • Graphics

Design and Typography

  • Typefaces
  • Fonts and font styles
  • Layout variations, including justification and hyphenation
  • Spacing and shaping
  • Column widths
  • Kerning
  • Headlines
  • Cross heads
  • Sidebars and textboxes

Dealing with pictures and other graphic materials

  • Photos and photo sources
  • Cropping and sizing
  • Other visual elements – graphics, diagrams cartoons etc
  • Using visuals to simplify complex detail
  • Commercial software packages
  • Copyright

Newspaper Design

  • Page layout
  • Marking up
  • Editing symbols
  • Story counts
  • Matching news values to available content

Magazine Design

  • Differences between magazines and newspapers
  • Size and scale
  • Front covers
  • Interior layout
  • Headings as display
  • Photos and other graphic illustrations
  • Running and shaping text

Editing Text for the Web

  • Importance of text online
  • Headlines online
  • Writing online
  • Usability

Designing for the Web

  • Modem faces
  • Typefaces
  • Easing navigation
  • Designing for the screen
  • Designing pages for speed not appearance

Recommended Reading

Main Text:

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Quinn, Stephen (2002) Digital Sub-Editing and Design (Focal Press)

Frost, Chris (2003) Designing for Newspapers and Magazines (Routledge)

Indicative Text:

Alternative Text and Further Reading:

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McLoughlin, Linda (2000) The Language of Magazines (Routledge)

Kipfer, Barbara Ann – editor ( 3rd Edition 2005) Roget’s 21st Century Thesaurus (Dell)

Recommended Websites:

Jakob NielsenUsability – www.useit.com

American Newspaper Publishing - www.editorandpublisher.com

Newspaper Association of America - www.naa.org